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American Civil War - Essay Example

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Even if the Civil War had not touched slavery, the conflict still would have transformed America." (Roark, et al; page 370). Yet, it fortuitously touched slavery, and "most whites fought to preserve their government and society, while most black men in the Union military saw service as an opportunity to fight slavery"…
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Download file "American Civil War Essay" to see previous pages... The carnage lasted four years and cost the nation an estimated 633,000 lives. The war helped mold the modern American nation-state, and encouraged industrialization. The federal government emerged with new power and responsibility over national life. "But because the war for Union also became a war against slavery,
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the northern victory had truly revolutionary meaning. (Roark, et al; Page 370). "Defeat and emancipation destroyed the slave society of the Old South, and gave birth to a different southern society." (Roark, et al; Page 370). "All Americans experienced the crucible of war; but the war affected no group more than the four million African Americans who saw its beginning as slaves and emerged as free people" (Roark, et al; page 370). "Abraham Lincoln faced the worst crisis in the history of the nation: the threat of disunion. He revealed his strategy on March 4, 1861, in his inaugural address, firm yet conciliatory. First, he vowed to avoid any act that would push the Upper South out of the Union; second, he reassured the Lower South that the Republicans would not abolish slavery. (Roark, et al; Page 370)
Always, Lincoln denied the right of secession and upheld Union. "His counterpart, Jefferson Davis, however, fully intended to establish the Confederate States of America as an independent republic." (Roark, et al; Page 370). "To achieve permanence, Davis had to sustain the secession fever that had carried the Lower South out of the Union" and add new stars to the Confederate flag." (Roark, et al; page 371). However, both wanted to achieve their objectives peacefully; but, as Lincoln later observed, "both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish." (Roark, et al; page 371). Masterfully, Lincoln thus shifted the fateful decision of war or peace to Davis." (Roark, et al; page 371). "On April 9, 1861, Davis and his Cabinet met to consider the situation in Charleston harbor. Territorial integrity of the Confederacy demanded the end of the federal presence, Davis argued, but his secretary of State Robert Toombs of Georgia pleaded against military action. Davis rejected Toombs' prophecy and sent word to Confederate troops in Charleston to take the fort. Bombardment reduced the fort to rubble. On April 14, Major Anderson offered his surrender and lowered the US flag. The Confederates had Fort Sumter, but they also had war. (Roark, et al; Page 371)
On April 15, when Lincoln called for 75,000 militiamen to serve for 90 days to put down the rebellion, several times that number rushed to defend the flag. Democrats responded as fervently as Republicans. But the people of the Upper South found themselves torn (Roark, et al; Page 371). They had to fight either against the Lower South or against the Union. Many
who only months earlier had rejected secession now embraced the Confederacy. To vote against southern independence was one thing, to fight fellow southerners another. (Roark, et al; pa ...Download file "American Civil War Essay" to see next pagesRead More
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