It might be said that, had Lincoln not been elected, the war might have been put off by a few years, and then a solution might perhaps have been reached. However, as has been demonstrated, the country was moving inexorably toward war and no other solution would work. If the war had been put off by a few years, the result would more than likely have been even more terrible and bloody than it was. General Grant was of the opinion that the war was inevitable. “The Southern rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican war,” he wrote in his Personal Memoirs, in accord with his belief that the Mexican-American War was the result of the Souths attempts to extend slavery into Mexican-controlled Texas, “Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions.
We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war in modern times.” Grant would then write in the conclusion of his memoirs, “It is probably well that we had the war when we did. We are better off now than we would have been without it, and have made more rapid progress than we otherwise should have made.” Had the war not been fought when it was, it is likely that both sides would have become more industrially and militarily.