For the years of its history, the United States of America has gone from a British colony to a powerful sovereign state, claiming world leadership. It was a complex historical process, at certain stages of which certain politicians, who left a notable mark in the formation of the state, vividly emerged. One of them was Jefferson Davis, whose brief biography is given in this article.
A young offspring of the slave-owning family
Jefferson Finis Davis was born June 3, 1808 in Kentucky. He was the fifth child in the family of a local farmer, and received his name in honor of the creator of the Declaration of Independence - Thomas Jefferson, whose passionate admirer was his father. The childhood of the future president of the Confederate States of America passed among the cotton plantations on which hundreds of slaves belonging to his father worked, so it is not surprising that the slave-owning spirit became an integral part of his nature.
As a descendant of a wealthy family, Jefferson Davis was educated at the prestigious Transylvanian University, and then, at the request of one of the congressmen from his state, was enrolled in the military academy of West Point, which he barely managed to graduate in 1828, as he was a notorious offender of discipline And impassable lazy.
The next seven years, his officer career, though with difficulty, but moving upwards, suddenly, unexpectedly for everyone, Jefferson resigned. The reason was quite romantic - the service prevented him from marrying the daughter of regimental commander Sarah Taylor, in which he fell in love without memory - the future father-in-law did not want her daughter to face the unsettledness of the army life.
After retiring, he achieved what he wanted, but fate would have liked to give the young only three months of happiness, after which Sarah suddenly died, having contracted malaria. Heartbroken, Jefferson Davis spent several years in complete seclusion, not wanting to see even the closest people. But time has taken its toll, and little by little it has come back to life, unexpectedly for all seriously engaged in politics.
The beginning of the political path and a new family
In this field, he showed much more zeal than in the walls of the military academy, and soon became a prominent figure among the activists of the Democratic Party of Mississippi. His career so successfully advanced that at the next presidential election in 1844, Davis was already part of the electoral college.
Then he met his future wife Varina Howell, who came from a rich and respectable family. Despite the age difference - the bride was eighteen years younger than him, their marriage was long and happy. The spouses had six children, but three of them were not destined to live until they reached adulthood.
The Mexican War and the continuation of a career
In 1846, a local conflict between Mexico and the United States grew into a war, and Davis considered it his duty to join the Mississippi regiment. There he served under the command of his former father-in-law, General Taylor, the father of his first wife. Being by nature a brave and resolute man, Jefferson often distinguished himself in combat operations, covering himself with special glory in the battle of Buen Vist and the siege of Monterrey.
When one of the congressmen from Mississippi passed away in 1847 , the governor, considering Davis' great merits, invited him to take a vacant seat. Accepting this proposal and becoming a senator, Jefferson declared himself as a serious political figure. He spent four years as a member of Congress, after which he resigned to run for the governor of the state of Mississippi, but failed and temporarily left the business.
At the head of the unrecognized state
His political career continued after the next president of America, Franklin Pierce, appointed him military minister. In this new quality, Jefferson Davis made great efforts to create a transcontinental railway line, which he considered extremely necessary for maintaining the country's defensive capability. He also contributed to the general modernization of the army's armaments.
By 1861, relations between the South and the North of the United States became extremely aggravated due to issues related to slavery. As a result, thirteen slave states withdrew from the US. The union they formed was called the Confederate States of America, whose president Jefferson Davis was soon elected. It should be noted that the state so created was not recognized by any of the countries.
After the outbreak of hostilities that took the nature of the civil war, Jefferson Davis, whose photo is presented in this material, seized the full power, both civil and military, in his hands, trusting state posts only to his close friends.
This caused a wave of dissatisfaction in the Confederation, especially intensified after a number of obvious miscalculations made by him and his cabinet of ministers. At the same time, with every passing day, the North's military preponderance became more perceptible, since much larger human and industrial resources were concentrated there. The situation became critical.
Prisoner of Fort Monroe
The events were especially acute after the assassination attempt on April 14, 1865, killed US President Abraham Lincoln. His successor, Andrew Johnson, from the very first days openly accused Jefferson Davis of committing a crime, and appointed a large reward for his head.
The war ended in the victory of the northerners, and on May 10 of the same year Jefferson Davis was arrested. Yesterday's idol of the crowd and a successful political leader was placed in the casemate of Fort Monroe, where he was kept for a long time chained by his foot to the wall. There he spent more than two years waiting for the trial, which never took place. In 1867, the prisoner was released on bail, and then amnestied by the incoming president of America, Andrew Johnson.
last years of life
Jefferson Davis, whose biography is an example of an extraordinary career rise and the ensuing fall, after his release from prison, could no longer return to politics. Once he tried to re-nominate himself for the Senate elections, but was refused on the grounds that according to the US Constitution, a person who had once broken an oath - and that is how his participation in the war on the side of the North was regarded - does not have the right to hold a public office.
Using his previous connections and experience accumulated during his tenure in office, Davis for several years was engaged in financial activities, being the president of a large insurance company in Memphis. In his spare time he wrote memoirs. To the post-war period, which went down in history as "the reconstruction of the South," is a series of statements that Jefferson Davis privately talked about. About slavery, abolished as a result of the victory of the northerners, he spoke of as the only possible form of stay of blacks in America. He categorically denied the possibility of granting them equal rights with the white population of the country.
He died on December 6, 1889 from pneumonia, received during a visit to his plantations in New Orleans, and was buried there in the tomb of the North Virginia Army.