Several factors motivated the American civil war. For one, economic differences between the Northern and Southern regions inevitably led to bitter differences between individuals and groups from these areas…
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This was unfavorable to many states in the South. In addition to this, Abraham Lincoln became president of the United States around the same time. This put pressure on the states that were for slavery due to his strong stance against the practice. In summary, all the causes of the war seem to have originated from slavery. The strain felt given the differences in opinions and ideologies eventually translated into a war that lasted from the year 1861 to 1865 and left more than half a million casualties: The civil war. Even though the war achieved some results that altered the course of history, it is not possible to ignore the loss felt during and after the war. This paper discusses the variation of opinions and thoughts on the war among different categories of people, particularly in the Shenandoah Valley. In Virginia, as pointed out in an article by Rickard on the American Civil War (2006), the Shenandoah Valley was one of the hardest hit regions during the war. It was an area dotted with beautiful mountains, known for its fertility and for having developed transport systems, especially the railway. Its strategic situation rendered it one of the best routes to accessing both the Southern and Northern regions. All this, according to the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation website2 turned out to be a disadvantage during the war since both the Northern and Southern areas took a keen interest in gaining control of the region. The two regions subsequently fought their wars in the valley itself, disturbing the stability that was the norm previously. Over the period of the war, Shenandoah Valley was conquered many times and was the epicenter for many major campaigns that kicked off during that time. In Ayn Rand’s famous words, “Every major horror of history was committed in the name of an altruistic motive” (Winokur 1992, 14)3 The same was true for the civil war, which was felt to be a worthy cause against slavery in the years between 1861 and 1865. For many in the Shenandoah area, the war achieved what it set out to do effectively. On the other hand, there are those who after the war felt that the losses incurred were not worth the gains felt. The region was at the time composed of people from various age groups, genders, and races. There are those who were soldiers that fought in the civil war, and on the other hand were civilians. This was the case for both Franklin and Augusta counties. In available 1863 wartime and pre-war accounts from Augusta County, it is clear that some felt that the war was in their favor. This seemed to encourage those in the Southern region to fight for a course that they felt was moral. Newspapers, for example, urged the public to fight for their ‘worthy’ cause, rather than allow the ‘Yankees’- a derogatory term used by the Confederates to refer to Federal troops during the civil war or by Southerners to refer to the Northerners 4 (Kwok 2001) - to succeed in pushing forward their agenda. An example of this is this extract from the Staunton Spectator. “From the West we hear of schemes designed by the desperate and disaffected--conspiracies tending to fresh ruptures and the final overthrow of the Republic. Wicked men, even at the North are beginning openly and shamelessly to dally with disunion, and propose, since dislocation has come into fashion, to multiply the fragments of our institutions. All this is terrible. We can better afford to lose fifty fights than thus to weaken the morality of our cause. We can better afford to submit to invasion than thus to make disintegration familiar to our constituencies. We can better afford to let the slaveholding soldier bivouac in the Capitol than to be betrayed into
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How can one hold another as a slave if he believes that they are created equal? How can it be shown that slavery allows, in any degree, the “pursuit of happiness? Where in slavery can a slave be found to have “liberty”? Signs of the coming Civil War in the United States were clearly seen decades before the Battle at Fort Sumter began on April 12, 1861.
It is presumed that issues that were brought about by sectionalism were the main propelling factors that drove the United States into the civil war. This was due to the expansion of territories in the nation that was forcing the nation to question on whether issue of settlement in the country were to be considered from the point of slavery or freedom.
When America won the war, there was a debate between Northern states who were capitalists and the Southern states which supported and practised slavery. The debate was to determine whether the new states acquired from the treaty would be recognized as free states.
Industrialism had led to the increase in the population of the people of the Northern states of the United States of America. This meant that they had more labor and thus the output of the industries of this region increased.
The United States was composed of states willing to overcome the rebellious calls by the group of nations referred to as the Confederacy. Secession was the theme of the Civil War where the Confederacy that constituted 11 nations, wanted to bring down the Union through their withdrawal.
The Northern economy was mainly based on factories and wages while the South economy had large cotton plantations. The south needed slaves to work in the cotton plantations and requested for new territories to be admitted in the Union as slave states in order to prevent the slaves from joining the free territories (Arnold and Wiener 17).
The disappearance of the enslaved American South led to social consolidation as well as territorial gains for the North. In addition, displacement of American Indian settlements from the mid West led to further settlements into the American hinterland.
While the Confederacy led by General Robert E. Lee embraced the principles of right to succession and slavery in the American society; the Union, led by General Ulysses S. Grant, opposed the expansion of slavery and wrote down any kind of right to succession.
ogether the actions of two large armies, the Army of the Potomac under the direction of General Meade and General Sherman’s forces that were located in Tennessee, into a coordinated attack against most of the Confederate forces at one time.
General Grant wasted no time in
The south based its economy on agriculture. Only the wealthy and influential folks who owned plantations in the South could hire, rent or own slaves. Eli Whitney’s invention boosted cotton plantations allowing the plantation owners to utilize slave labor. The north, however, was more of an industrialized region, with more entrepreneurs.
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