Civil War Paper
October 21, 2012
Civil War Paper
The mid-19th century is a historic period in the history of the United States, one that shaped the nation we now know. In the year 1861, the tension that had long been brewing between the north and south exploded and led the nation to war. The catalyst was Abraham Lincoln’s victory in the presidential election. As an anti-slavery Republican, the southern states feared his agenda and chose to secede from the Union. The Confederate States of America was formed and the refusal of said states to rejoin the Union led to a Civil War, neighbor against neighbor, each fighting for what they believed to be ...view middle of the document...
The tensions escalated until the two sides were no longer able to co-exist peaceably, each believing that their side was doing what was right and fighting for what was fair and just. It took four years of gruesome battles, but the war did eventually come to an end and the north was victorious. The southern states rejoined the Union, the Emancipation Proclamation was passed, and slavery was abolished. But the next century would still present many issues of inequality between the races, with roots tracing back to Civil War times.
In the century following the Civil War, many forms of inequality existed between the races. Although bitterness existed in the south, this inequality did not only stem from the southern states, but existed in the north as well. It may seem strange, but although the north fought to abolish slavery, they in no way believed that slaves should be freed and given equal status. This belief shaped the nation for the next hundred years following the Civil War. After the war there was a sense of free but not equal, which evolved over the next century into separate but equal. Although the slaves were freed, they had no rights, and would spend the next century working to obtain the most basic of civil rights. While our own citizens worked towards obtaining their rights, the United States evolved over the next century as well into one of the most powerful nations in the world. This position of power gave the nation great leeway into fighting for what was right, even in regards to other nations. The nation took on a philanthropic role, coming to the rescue of other nations and fighting for the basic human rights of those who could not fight for themselves and offering aid to those in need; even as the nation’s own citizens continued to fight for their rights in many instances.
When studying the Civil War and its outcome,...