Jefferson Davis was not elected as president by the Southern people, he was only appointed by the Senators in the South. He was not qualified to be the first President of the Confederacy, or even a President at all in that matter. Along with not being able to maintain the Confederates economy, he could not keep the war effort intact, or even keep the Confederacy united, thus showing his overall poor leadership. Jefferson Davis was not an effective leader during the American Civil War.
Jefferson Davis was not born a leader, while put in a leadership position he showed the Confederacy he did not have the skills to be effective as a president. Born on June 3, 1808, in Fairview, Kentucky as the youngest of ten siblings. Davis was raised in Mississippi as a planter to a father who was a Revolutionary War Soldier Veteran. His father, Samuel Davis encouraged him to follow in his footsteps. Davis went to West Point Military Academy starting in 1824 graduating twenty-third out of thirty-three students in 1828 Strode. After graduating, Davis became a Lieutenant in the Wisconsin Territory. Not long after being posted for two years in Arkansas, he resigned.
Ten years later, after taking a break from working on his plantation. Davis was elected to the House of Representatives. Only staying for a year before resigning and volunteering in the Mexican-American war. There tends to be a trend, Jefferson Davis does not stick to one thing, he is not reliable. If Jefferson Davis cannot even stay anywhere for more than two years, how can we rely on him to be a good President for four years? Jefferson lacked the experience as a Congressman, he did not know politics and policies like other men. Jefferson Davis was not qualified for his job, he was appointed, not elected. In 1853, Jefferson Davis was appointed to the U.
S. Secretary of War during Franklin Pierce’s term. In 1857, Davis returned to Congress where he was the Senator of Mississippi, four years later, resigning after Mississippi seceded from the Union Cleveland Civil war.
Davis had little to no interest becoming President of the Confederacy. In fact, Davis declined to attend the meeting in Montgomery Alabama, that was held to discuss the new nation. Jefferson Davis was hoping he would be chosen as the Commander of the Confederate Army. Surprising even Davis himself, he was voted by the Senate of the Confederacy to be the President of the United States. This is the first time in seventy years a president was not elected by the people. George Washington was the first, and only president until now to be elected by the government.
Jefferson Davis was inaugurated on February 18, 1861, in Montgomery, Alabama where he accepted the role and responsibilities as the President of the Confederacy. This is where things start going downhill for the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis did not care about appointing cabinet members or even a vice president. Instead, he chose his cabinet members based on the state they were from, not the abilities they had. He felt the more representation he had for each state, the better. Jefferson Davis chose Alexander Stephens as his Vice President, which was one of the worst decisions he made during his time in office.
Before Stephens was the Vice President of the Confederacy he often argued about states seceding from the Union and thought it was a bad idea. Stephens spent his entire term blaming Jefferson for every problem the Confederacy had. From the war to slaves, to economy Stephens bickered about issues instead of trying to help fix the problems.
Jefferson Davis did not rely on anybody during his term. He felt he was capable of doing everything on his own and did not need to take suggestions from anybody else. Jefferson Davis “spent the war micromanaging the government and never relied on his cabinet.” Dick. Despite his extensive military background, Jefferson Davis could not keep the war effort intact. Jefferson Davis focused solely on military strategies and neglected domestic policies. This is because he did not care about policies, he just wanted to be the Commander of the Confederate army and win the war.
Compared to Lincoln, who only changed his cabinet members once at the beginning of his term, inspired the Union to end slavery, unite the Union, and managed Congress well, preventing any arguing. During the Civil war, despite Jefferson Davis’ military background, he made horrible decisions about his generals. Davis appointed Braxton Bragg as a military advisor, who made many mistakes during the Civil War. At the Battle of Chickamauga, Braxton’s men won the battle but lost 18,000 men, 3,000 more men than the Union.
Bragg “declined to capitalize on his victory and instead allowed the Union Army to retreat to Chattanooga” History, Braxton Bragg. Because Davis liked him, Bragg stayed as the Military Advisor until Bragg resigned himself in 1863. Davis also appointed Joseph E. Johnston as a General for the Confederate army who won the first battle at Bull Run but was quickly criticized by Jefferson Davis for his careful strategies, which is ironic, because Davis left his generals in the dark with military strategy ideas, making them make their own. Joseph E.
Johnston had talent but because Davis did not like him and his ideas, he was fired in 1864. Robert E. Lee was the best General the Confederacy had during the Civil War. Lee was one of the only men who respected Davis and his ideas. Jefferson Davis was not reliable or organized, causing the Confederacy to fall apart, and lose the war.
Davis spent a majority of his term as president trying to find strategies and ways of potentially beating the Union, but came up with nothing during his four years. He failed to note any type of clear policy to any of his generals, such as Robert E. Lee, Braxton Bragg, and Joseph E. Johnston. So, they were forced to come up with their own strategies to win the war. The Confederacy was far from being united, everybody had different ideas, different strategies, and no clear path.
Many generals were demanding Davis to get rid of Braxton Bragg and replace him. But Davis did not replace him or even leave him with a way to fight the war. Jefferson tended to put all his eggs in one basket, staying blind sighted during the war.
Davis did not see the importance of his role and did not understand, he was a driving factor of the way the Civil War played out. Jefferson Davis put a lot of time and effort into defending Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederacy, but failed to protect other bases such as Vicksburg, Mississippi. When Jefferson Davis was first elected as president, he chose his cabinet and vice president very poorly.
This became a huge problem, nobody agreed with one another! Congress could not approve anything, Alexander Stephens, Davis’ Vice President, disagreed with everything Davis said, the Confederacy’s Cabinet was left in the dark, completely neglected by Jefferson Davis. Every state in the Confederacy was attacking him on the choices he was making. Many Mayors were upset with how unorganized Jefferson Davis was and many citizens in the south were upset with the outcome of the war. Many citizens bought government war bonds, some Southerners even put their life savings into the Civil War. When the citizens found out that they were losing they were outraged, knowing they would not get that money back. Jefferson Davis made terrible mistakes. The most serious of all, was him not giving his generals military strategies to win the war. But because the Confederacy could not afford mistakes like the Union, they lost the war.
Overall, Jefferson Davis was not an effective leader for the Confederacy, he took many wrong turns, lost many opportunities and was very narrow-minded. Davis lacked manpower and respect from his generals and administration. Jefferson Davis had short temper, lacked ambition and did not even want to be the president to begin with. Because Davis was a poor leader and could not maintain the Confederates economy, keep the war effort intact, keep the Confederacy united, and gain respect from the people of the South; the Confederacy was forced to surrender on April 12, 1861, to the Union at the Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia.