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The Civil War - Essay Example

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The American civil war was fought primarily between the Northern and southern states of the United States of America. After the revolution of 1776, the American people were disillusioned to believe that the Union would be long lasting since their independence had been purchased by the blood of their forefathers…
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The Civil War
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Download file to see previous pages The union was, for all practical purposes, largely deceptive and pretentious. The North pretended to give in to the states laws and policies while the southerners merely tolerated them It is against this background that rising discontent due to the biggest issue that divided the country, the issue of slavery, was brought to the forefront. This laid the ground work for one of the most violent moments in the United States of America that would forever remain etched in their history (Hesseltine 44-45).
Central to the civil war was the very thorny question of slavery. The Northern states were against slavery while the southern states still owned slaves. This led to rising discontent as neither side was willing to concede to the other. The admission of Missouri into the union was a clear example to the Southerners of the almost condescending nature of the Northern states. The Northerners did not respect the constitutional equality of the states in the union and insisted on the state of Missouri to abolish slavery, eventually reaching a 'compromise'; acting as though the south had no guaranteed rights in the bond of the union. This seeming lordship of the North over the south served to fuel even more, the underlying discontent (Hesseltine 46).
The eventual cessation of the southern states thus marked the beginning of the war that would later unfold. South Carolina was the first state to secede adopting its declaration on 24th December 1860. Mississippi was the second state to withdraw from the union, her ordinance of cessation being adopted on the 9th of January 1861.she was followed by Florida on the 10th , Alabama on the 11th, Georgia on the 18th and Louisiana on the 26th; all in the same month of January (Hesseltine 138).
Hesseltine points out that the war did not really come to head until the President Lincoln rose to power. The continued use of slave forces especially against the Union brought this issue for discussion at the thirty seventh Congress. The North attempted various measures to end this issue once and for all and reintegrate the south back to the union but this proved futile as the southern states rebelled at whatever suggestion that was put forward to address this issue. The signing of the emancipation proclamation was the straw that broke the camel's back and the stage for the civil war was set (267- 268).
The confederates viewed slavery as the cornerstone of the Confederacy while the Northerners viewed it as morally wrong, as all men were created equal. The slavery issue was of great concern because it had implications on the economy of the states. The southerners were concerned with the economic loss that would come about as a result of the abolition of slavery. The slaves provided them with free labor and ensured huge economic gains. Getting rid of them would mean a need for the hiring of waged labor and this would translate to smaller profit margins for them. The southerners were also gravely concerned by the prospect of racial equality. Indeed in the Texas declaration of causes for the Secession it was asserted that the African race was successfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race and thus the proclamation of the blacks as equal men degraded and demoralized the southerners (Hesseltine 269- 270).
On April 12th of 1861, the armies linked to the confederates attacked a U.S military ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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