USA HIstory - Research Paper Example

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The American civil war is no doubt one of the most significant events in American history before the year 1877 and many years after the war, which started in 1861 and ended in 1865 had lasting social, political and economic factors that continued to be felt decades after its…
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The American civil war is no doubt one of the most significant events in American history before theyear 1877 and many years after the war, which started in 1861 and ended in 1865 had lasting social, political and economic factors that continued to be felt decades after its end. While the fighting actually broke out in 1861, it was culmination of conflicts and tensions that diplomacy had failed to resolve in the preceding decades and finally erupted in full scale warfare. The causes of these tensions included issue of state versus federal rights westward expansion and most importantly slavery, an issue on which the north and south were sharply divided. This was particularly due to the rules on escaped sleeves which demanded that those helping escaped slaves be punished, this pitted south against north since many abolitionists would aid than in their escape when they went ran north to freedom (Kelly). The election of Abraham Lincoln a republican firm on abolishing slavery caused seven states to secede and form a confederacy, when the war begun in earnest, four more states joined them in the quest to fight for the right to practice slavery. The civil war was greatly divisive as it pitted neighbors and sometimes even brothers against each other, as a result, many family and social bonds were severed never to be the same again even after the war was over
The war commenced after the confederates took the Fort Sumter, which was a crucial fort for the union side, in South Carolina, in response Lincoln rallied his armies to retake the four Border States that had moved to the confederacy. The union then went ahead to assume control of the coastline and set up a naval blockade a key fort held by Union troops in South Carolina. The confederate states had assumed that Europeans countries which were heavily dependent on them for cotton and other products would back them up against the union and this emboldened them (“American Civil War”). However, this proved to have been misconstrued and no European nation ever even acknowledged the confederacy let alone supported them. What followed were four years of bloody conflict which were characterized by massive loss of life as well as destruction of property; it is worth noting that this was the first industrialized war and modern weapons and infrastructure such as railroads were extensively used. The war was marked by several battles such as, the battles of Antietam, Vicksburg, and Manassas among others (“American Civil War”). In 1862 Lincoln made the proclamation of emancipation which made freedom of slaves officially one of the primary goals of the war. In 1962, the confederate troops were thwarted in their attempt to occupy Maryland in the same year; they union troops destroyed their navy along with most of the western forces. Using their superior numbers and resources, the union troops marched through confederate country and there also destroyed most of their war infrastructure such as road rails and even arms deports among others. The offence by the Union troops continued until their surrender in 1865. The consequences of the war were tragic as over 600,000 soil fired from both sides dying and property worth millions destroyed, economic recovery took a long time especially in the south where agricultural productivity had been reduced by the blockade.
Nonetheless, it is evident that the aims of the war were achieved in that the union remained and slavery was abolished which paved way for the civil rights movements in the 20th century and culminates in the equality America enjoys today. Thus despite the innumerable tragedies it visited upon many Americans both soldiers and civilians, the war ultimately strengthened and enhance the union that even today binds the United States.
Works Cited
“American Civil War” History. n.d. Web 11 December 2012. Kelly, Martin “Top 9 Events that Led to Civil War” n.d. Web 11 Dec. 2012 Read More
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