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Oliver P. Morton: True Leadership in the Civil War Essay

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Oliver P. Morton was a man of many talents and a man who stood out above the rest during the Civil War. A local product from Indiana, Morton who displayed a skillful leadership, a strong and stubborn personality, and sometimes ruthless policies made him one of the most prominent figures not only on the state level but also on the national level. At the time of the Civil War issues such as race and slavery, economics and power dominated Indiana politics. The rallying point and the man that stood in the middle of all the issues Indiana was facing was Oliver P. Morton. He was responsible for rallying and unifying the Hoosiers. Morton prepared the Hoosiers to fight in the Union Army. To truly understand Oliver P. Morton’s impact on Indiana,…show more content…
By 1852, he was elected as a circuit judge. Morton was a democrat as a young man but as we will soon learn that was about to change. The Kansas-Nebraska bill repealing the Missouri Compromise’s ban on slavery west of Missouri had a profound impact on the political parties of the time. Morton realized that the time to take a stand was now. He took a strong stand against the Kansas-Nebraska Act and Popular Sovereignty. In doing so he associated and switched his allegiances with the free soil wing. Soon, however under the influence of Senator Jesse Bright, the party began to expel anti-slavery members which included Morton. Within time Morton found his final political home with the newly formed Republican Party. In 1856 was one of the three delegates from Indiana to attened the first ever Republican convention in Pittsburgh. Morton left such an impact on the party that in 1856 he was unanimously nominated by the new party for Governor of Indiana, against Ashbel P. Willard. Although Morton lost the race for Governor he had made a name for himself and had built a reputation as being one of the most able politicians in the state.
During the 1856 governor’s race Morton especially gained popularity among the Republican Party in Indiana for his speeches against slavery. The vast majority of Indiana took the antislavery position. The antislavely position was essentially a “big umbrella” that a majority of northerners came to agreement
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