Nobody downloaded yet

Why did non-slave owners fight in the civil war - Research Paper Example

Comments (1) Cite this document
The American civil war is one of the most important events in US History. Not only did it revolutionize the US constitution, but it changed the life of many who had previously been living in conditions of slavery…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER92.2% of users find it useful
Why did non-slave owners fight in the civil war
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Why did non-slave owners fight in the civil war"

Download file to see previous pages It is estimated that over three million soldiers took part in the civil war, with two million fighting for the Union states and one million fighting for the Confederate states (Catton & McPherson, 2004). Around 600,000 of these soldiers died in combat, making it the deadliest war in American history (Catton & McPherson, 2004). One of the main reasons for the American civil war was that many people in the northern states felt that slavery was immoral and unnecessary, whilst those in the south wanted to keep their slave-owning plantation way of life. It is easy to understand why those in possession of slaves would want to keep their lifestyle and their cheap labor source, but why did non-slave owners fight in the civil war? Inequality Whilst it may seem ridiculous to some to support a system that does not benefit yourself, such as non-slave owners supporting slavery in the civil war, but there are many reasons why. One of the main reasons is that black people and white people were not seen as equal at the time. The general consensus of the time was that those of African descent were a slave race (Hansen, Gallagher & Jakes, 2010) and deserved to be treated as such. This is one of the reasons why inequality lasted for such a significant amount of time after the civil war; it was difficult for some people to accept equality. Despite many soldiers fighting for the Confederate states not owning slaves, it may be that these individuals wished to maintain the quality of life. In the case of those who were termed ‘poor whites’, it may have been that they enjoyed being part of a system in which they were superior to one set of people; the African slaves. The abolition of slavery meant that everyone was equal, but those with money still retained some superiority. Those who were part of the ‘poor white’ lost their superiority altogether and may have felt uncomfortable with this idea. The culture of slavery was deep-rooted in society at the time and many are often uncomfortable with changes to the social order, and this may have been an example of this phenomenon (Catton & McPherson, 2004). The abolition of slavery did require a significant change to the social system of the day, so the Confederate supporters were not wrong to be worried. However, in recent decades the status of African Americans is now seen as equal to that of whites in the United States, so it is evident that some time has shown that there was a reason to fight for this equality, despite the problems it may have caused the Confederate soldiers at the time. It is interesting to consider how those labelled ‘poor whites’ of the day reacted to the abolition of slavery, and how they were now seen as equal to black, whereas prior to this the colour of their skin still set them apart. This was probably one of the major reasons why non-slave owners fought in the civil war. State Pride Something that may be easier to understand for modern Americans is the concept of state pride. As the ownership of slaves was so deeply ingrained into culture, some soldiers may have wanted to go to war to prevent themselves being under the legislation of the Union states who did not necessarily understand the way of life in the south (Hansen, Gallagher & Jakes, 2010). In many cases, soldiers would have been proud to be fighting for their state, despite their beliefs or their slave ownership status. Slavery was one of the main issues in the American civil war, but it was not the only one. Many people on both sides of the civil war believed in what is known as State Sovereignty, which essentially maintains the right of each individual state to control and create its own laws (Catton & McPherson, 2004). The Union was fighting to unite the states, both southern and northern, to create a more harmonious single ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Why did non-slave owners fight in the civil war Research Paper”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Why Did Non-Slave Owners Fight in the Civil War Research Paper)
“Why Did Non-Slave Owners Fight in the Civil War Research Paper”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (1)
Click to create a comment or rate a document
corwinjalyn added comment 1 month ago
Student rated this paper as
This paper saved me today. I liked the style. It was very useful for my history course.

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Why did non-slave owners fight in the civil war

Slave owners

...thought to be strange and assumed to be savage. These were the major components in that sense of difference that provided the mental margin between masters and African slaves. They were never considered equals to whites and were placed at the bottom of the social hierarchy. As Winthrop Jordan wrote: They did not belong to the same community as Christians, or civilized Europeans. The focus of this "we-they" distinction was at first religious, later racial. …to be Christian was to be civilized rather than barbarous, English rather than African, white rather than black. African slaves were considered strangers by the white population and also among each...
11 Pages(2500 words)Thesis

Civil War

...that from the south, practiced cooperation and practiced a high level of camaraderie amongst each other. At no time were they seen questioning any orders or any rank occupied by any officer. The situation was completely different in the South where its military officers used to squabble amongst each other and had defiant attitude when it came to receiving orders or accepting criticism. The ideologies in the north though ignored were influential in the way the Civil War ended. These included; faith, ideals, principles, and beliefs which inspired the North to develop courage and valor in their hearts that kept their willpower going. The decision by the North to fight for slavery...
12 Pages(3000 words)Essay

Civil War the Union Army did so by going to the North’s frontlines to join. Many blacks did not kill their white masters while still on the plantation but were honorable enough and manly enough to join the fight fair and square. All blacks, almost to a person, desired to be free and what the three young men started at Fort Monroe became part of a larger revolution. It was a revolution within a revolution, or a narrative within a master narrative of the civil war. Firearms in the hands of slaves had been the constant nightmare of the white slave owners but the civil war brought...
5 Pages(1250 words)Term Paper

Civil War

... Assignment Document Analysis Essay: Civil War Introduction This is a document analysis essay and the topic of focus is American Civil War. The analysis will involve reading six letters written by soldiers in the battle field during the Civil War. The Civil War took place in the years 1861 through 1865. The parties involved were the United States of America (USA) and Confederate States of America. USA or the Union forces were led by President Abraham Lincoln, who is credited for abolition of slavery in the country. According to Divine et al, the victory of the Union forces in the Civil War helped to maintain territorial integrity, abolished slavery, and initiated a lengthy process of post-war reconstruction that ultimately shaped... up the...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Civil War

... at the union side, which forced them to retreat, thus, victory was not ensured completely at this front. Question 4 The main advantage which the Southern states had in the civil war was the military drafting of the Confederacy’s Conscription laws, which they did soon after the start of the war. They managed to do that earlier than it was expected by many as the main purpose was to hire volunteers in this war in order to gain a military advantage over the state army. The problem with the southern states was that they only relied upon the volunteer army to fight in the civil war whereas the main theme of the volunteers was limited to the supply lines and other military crafts. Because the confederates were the first to draft... ...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Civil War

...witnessed among war veterans in the southern region. Thousands of soldiers became addicted to morphine; hence could not be productive to the society after the war. White settlers in the south lost the slave labor force; thus they could no longer engage in extensive agricultural services. Approximately 90% of Black Americans lived in the South during the war (Jerry 23). After the black liberation from slavery by Northern Union soldiers, Southern farmers felt the economic gap left by slave workers in their farms. At this juncture, we can acknowledge the fact that Southern states suffered substantial damages after the civil...
12 Pages(3000 words)Research Paper

Civil War

...were opponents of slavery and never supported the issue as it did not resemble the true spirits of America. The Northern sates formed the Union. The Southern states depended on slavery for sustaining the growth of economy. The civil war gained momentum when the slavery was proposed to be spread to the western states. Due to opposite views, the Southern states of America that were slave states declared secession from the Union. The southern states of America wanted themselves free from the shackles of the Union and wanted a separate existence. The Southern states declared a separate confederation of states in America as a symbol of the secession. The Union wanted to keep...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Slave vs, Slave owners

...a paramount threat to the existence of the new American nation. He also was of the view that the notion of slavery was conflicting with the laws of nature, which declared that every human has a right to freedom. He had sensed that while on one hand mass emancipation of slaves may lead to deadly slave revolts, on the other hand letting slavery thrive in the nation will also lead to the risk of a civil war. In both the cases, there were reasons for the cherished and newly crafted federal government to suffer irreparable damages. Arguments in favour of justice were put forward by various groups of slaves in their petitions in favour of slavery abolition. At...
9 Pages(2250 words)Essay

Civil War

...identification (all above optional – if you need them) History and Political Science Topic React to the ment that the Civil War was inevitable. Tell how you would have reacted to the attack on Fort Sumter. Include a discussion of the South’s arguments about States’ rights and “The Cause” as understood by Southerners. The Essay On issues such as the sovereignty of States, interpretations of the Constitution and particularly Slavery, the vast differences between North and South are evident, and the Civil War does seem to have been inevitable. Essential to the causes of the American Civil War is the strong feelings Southern States had...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Civil War

..., the origins of the civil war had roots in the first miserable boat-load of African slaves into the American soil, for without slavery, the war wouldn’t have occurred. For a time, it appeared that slavery was on its way to extinction. However, the sticky slavery-based agriculture in the South proved to be a source of beef with the industrially advanced North in the 100 years or so of independence. So intense were the gridlocks that when the Tariff legislation was finally introduced in the Congress and passed to levels considered unacceptable to a majority of southerners in favor of the North produced goods with the aid of Northern politicians, the former’s furor rose to...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Research Paper on topic Why did non-slave owners fight in the civil war for FREE!

Contact Us