North Carolina had a long complicated battle within the state whether to secede or remain in the Union. The major issue that drove states to secession was slavery, but North Carolina’s economy did not depend on slavery as much as the Deep South states did. North Carolina was mostly a state of yeoman farmers who were beginning to feel the effects of leaving the “RIP Van Winkle” economic state and North Carolina was developing economically. Most people did not want to jeopardize this success by leaving the security of the Union in order to save slavery. Even though most people were yeoman farmers, the ordinary citizens are not the ones who truly decide what happens in the legislature. North Carolina still had land requirements in order to serve in the General Assembly, so poor farmers did not have the same say in government as the gentry farmers. Luckily for the yeoman farmers who did not necessarily have the same say in government, North Carolina had a large Whig population which turned out to be a large Unionist population. W.W. Holden was able to use his influence through the General Assembly and his newspaper, the Standard, in order to educate North Carolinians on the dangers of secession and gain support for the Unionist Party. Despite the election of Republican Abraham Lincoln in the Presidential Election of 1860, Unionists were able to convince North Carolinians to adopt the “watch and wait” policy to give Lincoln a fair chance at the Presidency. Lincoln proved not to be the threat he was imagined to be early on, which led to Unionists victories in the General Assembly convention ran by pro-secessionist Governor Ellis. Governor Ellis urged North Carolina to build up the army and follow their Southern neighbors into secession, but the Unionists prevailed behind the argument that Lincoln was not a threat to North Carolina and the South. As of February 1860, North Carolina was pro-Union and it seemed that the Union had secured the Southern state. Despite North Carolina wishing to remain in the Union, the actions taken at Fort Sumter caused North Carolina to follow the Southern states to the Confederate States of America. North Carolina only reluctantly joined the Confederacy as most North Carolinians wished to remain in the Union and have their interests protected. Even though North Carolina had been largely pro-Union, it seems that North Carolina had always had the cards stacked against them and they were bound to follow their neighbors and secede.