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American History -Civil War Essay

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The American civil war, which began in 1861 and continued till 1865, was a war among the United States. Most of the united states were part of the Union, the North, the Free States. The other states were the southern states, the Slave States, they declared secession (to remove themselves) and they formed the Confederate States of America. The reason for war was over the irritable topic of slavery. Only after four years was slavery abolished but until then there was so much to be dealt with. One major issue that affected everyone socially was, sectionalism. Sectionalism is separatism.

Separating oneself to only part of the country as opposed to treating the country as a whole. Blacks were pushed to the side and treated as the inferiority. This caused a lot of political issues as well. Some felt blacks should have the same rights as everyone else and some felt not! The economy at the time flourished in some areas and fell desperately in other areas. The northerners felt that blacks and the progress of the economy had no correlation whereas many southern whites felt no slaves meant no economy. There is so much more to be discussed in detail in this topic lets not waste time.

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Sectionalism divided America. The different sections were the north and south. Sectionalism, as we mentioned, is putting the needs of one section of the nation over the needs of the whole nation. One difference between the north and south was their working ethics. While northerners were more industrial and businesslike, southerners were more agricultural. Southern economy was primarily based on on the existence of a large family farm. This may explain why the southerners were pro-slavery. They needed the help and chose the lower class people to do the “dirty work” on their massive farms.

It was a slower way of working. The northerners were much faster, the commerce was important to them. There were a few factors which created this sectional tension but the major issue was slavery. The different opinions the states had on slavery were quite evident in their day to day lives and mostly on the farms/ working area. While northerners didn’t really care about the slaves, it sooner became a central issue in all states. On the political side, “Northerners and southerners each wanted the power to pass laws that would benefit their section”.

The more states that became “free” or “slave” acknowledged states meant their bench at the House of Representatives had more votes. They fought on so many small things in regards to laws and tariffs and state rights that this in itself caused so much tension apart from just the segregation issue. [1] Let’s delve a little bit into the sectionalization aspect of things because that was the biggest cause of the civil war. In February 1835 petition against slavery in the house of representatives became a huge deal and “struck the sensitive nerve which pervades and vibrates through the entire south. This hullabaloo caused the south to unite as one man which seemed to surprise the northern representatives. A reporter states that this issue caused quite the fight between slaveholders and northern petitioners, or between their representatives in congress. “This was no small feat. During the first 50 years of the young republic, American statesmen of all sorts had studiously avoided public dispute over the issue of slavery. Indeed anti slavery petitions drew southerners into what would be ranked amoung the most important debates in the history of the congress and our nation”.

As if the slavery wasn’t enough to get the people riled up, there was another issue that has gone unremarked; That was the petition against women’s rights in political issues and their “statuses as citizens in the united states congress”. Woman wanted to speak up about what they felt in regards to the south however, “debates over woman’s anti slavery petitions from 1835 till 1845 waged as it was through a rhetoric of gender, amounted to a battle about the very question of who rightfully can be considered a citizen of the united states. [2] A man by the name of Adams was very pro women’s rights and he defended woman on the floor of congress for over 4 days. “Adam’s proceeded to demonstrate that Howard’s (his armed foe) principle- that women should have nothing to do with political affairs- possessed no biblical background. He cited a case of Deborah, a judge and prophetess during the infancy of the jewish nation, of Jael (yael) who slew the enemy of her nation, and of esther who saved the jews by petitioning. ” Adams brings in jewish history tp prove women should have a say in political rights.

He also goes on to bring in the secular heroines like “Ladies of South Carolina who conducted themselves with more than Spartan magnanimity” or the woman of Charleston who petitioned for the release of colonel Hayne. Adams felt even though women have other duties and responsibilities, if they have a political opinion they should be able to share it, after all it is their country too. between the great division of classes and gender that was going on here america was on a clear path to the civil war. [3] Time came i America to elect a new president.

Abraham Lincoln promised to bring a stop to slavery and this appeased the northerners. the southerners however were very angry at lincoln and viewed his as a “black republican”. Abraham Lincoln did promise however that “they would not directly or indirectly interfere with them or their slaves”. The southerners still viewed the election of Lincoln as “the greatest evil that has ever befallen this country” Abraham Lincoln was officially elected president in 1860 and he won that battle on electoral votes (he didn’t even win half of the popular vote-vote of the people).

Southerners now felt that they no longer had a say in the government because their president was anti slavery while they were very much pro it. slowly but surely the southern states started seceding from the union till they got together and formed the Confederate States of America, the confederacy states. as this was going on with the new election of the president it confused people because here they had 11 states who had seceded and formed their own “nation” so no one knew how to react, not even congress themselves. there was only one question. ould the North allow the South to just leave the union without a fight? [4] War is around the corner. The year was 1861 and the south began to take over their forts that were located in the south. The appointed head if the southerners was Jefferson Davis. As much as they wanted to attack the southern fort that was being held under siege Davis knew if he would give the green light to his troops that would turn a secession into full on war and he wasn’t sure if that was a risk he wanted to take. 4:30 am on april 12th, Davis chose war.

They didn’t hesitate for a second and sure enough the deadly struggle between the North and South was under way. [5] When the war began it was a white war. No african american soldiers were allowed, but in 1862 congress passed a law which allowed the african americans to serve in the army. Even though they were accepted as soldiers the African American soldiers still suffered from discrimination. They got paid less a month and those who were caught by the confederacy were either shot on the spot or sent back home to be slaves and that wasn’t the way normal war prisoners were treated.

Even though the south did not want to, by 1865 they were desperate for war men and so they drafted their slaves into the army which was contrary to what they were fighting for but they disregarded that. The economy of the south went on a downhill spiral. [1] paper from Social Studies Help Center [2] Rhetoric and Public Affairs- pages 341-342 [3] Rhetoric and Public Affairs – page 359 [4] The Americans Pages 303-305 [5] The Americans Pages 312-313