Essay: The civil war

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  • Subject area(s): History essays
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  • Published on: August 24, 2019
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  • The civil war
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The civil war was fought from 1861 to 1865. About 620,000 soldiers died during these years. The civil war was caused by a difference in opinions over the slavery issue. In 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected president. During his presidency, one of his main concerns was to keep slavery out of the territories that had not yet become states. He believed that if he did not stop the spreading of slavery, it would block ‘free labor on free soil’ Although Lincoln was totally against slavery, he insisted he was not an abolitionist. He wanted to peacefully stop the expansion of slavery. The economy in the south consisted mainly of plantations of tobacco, cotton, corn, vegetables, etc. therefor slaves were beneficial to them to help them produce all of this. Without the slaves, the South would struggle tremendously. Due to President Abraham Lincolns decision, the South decided to secede. The southern states soon became the Confederate States of America. President Lincoln was not sure if the secession was legal or not but he decided not to give it recognition because he feared it would split up the nation.

An abolitionist is someone who opposes slavery and is dedicated to ending it in a nation where personal freedom was valued and it was believed that all men were created equal. For example, Frederick Douglas, a very well-known abolitionist. Frederick himself was once a slave in Maryland, after his escape Frederick took his experiences in being a slave and wrote about them. He also started an abolitionist movement in New York. The role that abolitionists took in this war was that they unfortunately were another cause of it. Sadly, because of these abolition movements fighting to end slavery it caused a division between the states which lead to this war.

Another cause of the civil war was the states’ rights versus the federal rights. The main focus was on whether or not the federal government had the most power over the states to end slavery completely. As a result of the war, the federal government ended up having the most power, the states’ rights were almost abolished. The way that the civil war expanded the powers of the federal government was that due to all the bloody battles such as the battle of Gettysburg and the Battle of Antietam, people were going through a time in need, in seek for assistance. They eventually end up getting help from the most-highest level of leadership, that being the federal government.

After the civil war came the reconstruction era; the rebuilding of the south. A part of this era was the reconciliation vision which was the vision in which the south was learning how to cope with the losses of their lost ones. In other word’s it was the phase in which all families are mourning. During the war, white supremacy was a major issue. White supremacy is the belief that white people are superior to those of different races. Whites would terrorize African Americans. During the reconstruction, all African-Americans were granted their freedom along with citizenship. Some slaves were comfortable as they were so they stayed with their masters and some took on new names. With the emancipation of blacks came the black codes, these codes guaranteed stable labor supply to African Americans. Literacy tests came into play to qualify for voting. These codes also forced blacks to become sharecroppers; Africans would pay ‘rent’ with a portion of their yearly crop, which just resulted in a cycle of debt. Within time the 14th amendment became ratified in 1868. This amendment defined citizenship for the first time and it guaranteed ‘equal protection under the laws’ and the right to ‘due process’ following came the 15th amendment ratified in 1870. This protected the citizens no matter the race, color, or history of servitude from getting denied their voting rights.

During the reconstruction Era there was also a radical reconstruction. This was the one and only time masters raged out towards scalawags and carpetbaggers. Scalawags were whites from the South who were for reconstruction and helped Africans. Carpetbaggers were Northerners who packed their bags in suitcases and headed towards the south for better opportunities with power and money. In conclusion, Reconstruction was a success because it created a stronger sense of unity and nationalism. At the end of the civil war the outcome was more positive in other words. In addition, nullification and secession issues were cancelled out, slavery was finally abolished, and it provided a sense of motivation for liberalism around the world.

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