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Research paper example essay prompt: Civil War - 3706 words
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.. iority. They also feared competition from freed slaves for their trades. The economic viability of slavery is a debatable issue. Slavery as an efficient labor system was not feasible, as the slaves did not have enough compulsion to do more than would be extracted from them by force. Slavery made the souths economic system less flexible and progressive.
The success of plantation agriculture hindered the growth of a more diversified economy. The reluctance of white men to work as a free labor force due to the social stigma attached to it meant that the economy never progressed beyond the rural character to industrialization uniformly. Huge profits were made by businessmen at the expense of the planters who were often indebted to the merchants both of the south and the north. Causes Of The Civil War Economic Charles Bearde gives economic issues like the high tariff, the homestead law and the transcontinental railroad as the causes of the civil war. The high tariff issue has always been a bone of contention between the north and the south.
The primary source of federal revenues until the outbreak of the civil war was duties imposed on imports. This taxation gave protection to internal industries against foreign competition, which favored the north as they had the maximum of industries. Acts like the embargo act and the non-intercourse act encouraged the growth of manufacturing in the north. The south not anticipating any major developments were strongly opposed to protectionist measures. They also believed that the high tariffs increased the prices of their imports and restricted the market for their exports.
This issue brought the north supported by the western states in conflict with the southern states. The immense land acquired by the government by the end of the Mexican war was to be distributed according to the homestead law. The north favored the giving away of land at a cheap price to the common people while the south wanted the land to be given to the highest bidder so that plantation land could be expanded. According to the homestead law, any person was given 160 acres of land, which he had to cultivate for 5 years and he paid a small fee on the acquiring of land. The law was criticized by the south, as their aim of extending plantation style agriculture was defeated. Trans continental railroads were to be built with federal aid across the American land. The north and the west were unanimous in their support to the building of the railroad, as it would greatly benefit their development.
The south did not see any benefit to them and refused to pay taxes for something that they said they did not need. These economic causes have been criticised as the tariffs were not always high except in 1816, 1828 and 1832 and was usually lower. Also when the markets for southern goods declined in Europe and the south turned to local markets, the railroads were supported by them as well. Westward expansion In 1819, there were 22 states in the American union, 11 of which were free states and 11 were slave states. Due to the increase of population in the free states, their representation in the house of representation was greater than that of the slave states.
But in the senate, where every state had a single vote, a balance was maintained between the slave states and the free states. To maintain this balance, admission of new states was usually done in pairs as far as possible with a free state entering the union along with a slave state. Many compromises were made like the Missouri compromise of 1820. This compromise meant that the states above the 36є30' were to be given the status of a free state and the states below this line were to be slave states. This became the center of controversy later on as its repeal further widened the schism between the north and the south.
Texas was admitted as a slave state when after vacillation the American union was not admitting it, they applied to Britain and this worried the Americans enough to allow Texas to enter the union unaccompanied by a free state. The ending of the Mexican war resulted in Texas asking for more territory, which the northerners were against, as it would mean the extension of slavery. The fact that the capital of the country still had slavery was according to the north a disgrace. The north-south rift grew when many northern organizations helped fugitive slaves to escape to Canada. The question of whether the congress had the authority to decide if slavery should be allowed or not was very worrying and which led to the controversial Dredscotts decision.
The Wilmot proviso saying that areas acquired from the Mexican war should be free states was opposed by the south. Clays compromise, fugitive slave act, the Kansas-Nebraska act. Slavery- describe the institution of slavery, slavery as a cause of the civil war" tutorial. One can conclude that though slavery was not the sole cause of the civil war, the issue of slavery was both an important factor in the sectionalism, which was one of the reasons for the war, and it symbolized and disguised many other differences between the north and the south. Political Causes Ever since the federal convention in 1787, there had been a tacit political balance between the 2 great sections along the old Mason-Dixon line and the Ohio River, which divided the slave holding states and territories from which slavery was abolished and in the process of extension. Ever since the birth of the nation, a series of compromises had held the 2 sections together.
At the time of framing of the constitution, the conflict was settled by deciding the percent of representation to the House of Representatives and accordingly only three-fifths of the black population would be taken into account and the senate would have equal representation from all the states irrespective of size of population. This system worked well so long as the number of free and slave states remained equal but at the close of 1819, when the territories of Missouri and Maine applied for statehood, tension between the 2 sections mounted again on the grounds of whether they should be admitted as free or slave states which was resolved by the Missouri compromise of 1820. By the late 1840s, the sectional conflict was beginning to affect national political parties. The Whig party was split into those who opposed slavery openly and those who supported it because of their trade with the southern planters and the latter had powerful backing from the south. The democrat party was becoming more and more an instrument of the south. The northern democrats became resentful of the pro-south leaning of the party and this led too their joining with the abolitionist Whigs to form the Republican Party in 1854.
The problem of slavery in the new territories was reopened in 1848 when Oregon, California, new Mexico and Utah needed to be admitted to the union. The Missouri compromise was unacceptable to the both the northern and southern extremists. This issue was avoided in the election of 1848 when the Whig partys Zachary Taylor was elected as president. The emergence of the free soiler party, which polled enough votes to ruin the chances of the Democratic Party, is important in this election. The question of admitting California and New Mexico had to be resolved but the situation became more difficult when California adopted a constitution in 1849 by which it became a free state and in 1850, the people of New Mexico did the same.
Henry clay tried to introduce a compromise which would solve the above problem as well as the problem of slavery in Washington D.C., the boundary between Texas and new Mexico, the war expenditure of Texas which was not being assumed by the government and the personal liberty law and how it was to be applied to the fugitive slaves. Clays compromise was greatly discussed and debated and finally accepted in 1850 with many concessions to the south. California was admitted as a free stat, New Mexico was organized as a territory when Texas relinquished control over it in return for $3 million as the war debt. Utah was organized as a territory. Slave trade in Washington D.C. was abolished and in return the north had to enact a stringent fugitive slave act by which a Negro accused of being a fugitive was denied his day in court and his status was to be determined by a united states judge or a circuit court commissioner who would usually be bribed.
Federal marshals had to do their best to catch fugitive slaves and any citizen who helped a fugitive would be heavily penalized. Though this compromise solved the immediate problems of the nation, it did not stem the crisis of secession of 1860. The transcontinental railroad problem was another issue, which showed the sectionalism rife in the United States. There was a widespread desire for sectional harmony after the Missouri compromise of 1820 and this was evident in the election of 1852. The democrats reaffirmed the compromise and nominated a dark horse, Franklin pierce of New Hampshire to break a deadlock over the selection of leaders. The Whigs were weaker in the defense of the compromise in comparison and lost when they nominated Winfield Scott.
The decline in the anti-slavery feeling was obvious when the free soil partys votes dropped dramatically from their maiden election of 1848. Nicaragua and Honduras- the pierce administration of 1853-1857 pursued an aggressive and expansionist foreign policy, which was mainly for the benefit of the south. Southerners were very interested in acquiring Cuba where slavery was legal and the government was negotiating for its sale to America by Spain. Though this failed, it was publicized and the northerners thought that the southerners were trying to acquire a new slave state and insisted that there was a southern conspiracy. Southerners were also interested in areas in the South American continent where slave states might be carved out. A southern adventurer, William walker led an expedition to Nicaragua in 1855, where he was dictator for some time and tried to raid Honduras as well. All these incidents were seen by the northerners as a move by the southerners to extend slavery and avoid abolition.
*The expansion of American business was spreading from an early time. In 1819 missionaries went to Hawaii where they established connections, which later helped in annexation. In 1830, china was being opened up and commercial treaties were being signed. In 1853, commodore Perry led a naval expedition to Japan, which led to the signing of a commercial treaty. In the Canadian border, there was a conflict between England and America over the fishing rights of the Americans.
In 1854, the problem was solved through the reciprocal treaty, which gave the privilege to Canadians for passage of goods from and to the United States without the custom duties in exchange for American fishing rights. * The transcontinental railroad question was also being discussed and the route for the railroad was to be decided. The northerners wanted a northern route for the railroad, which would run through Chicago or st. Louis while the south wanted a route through New Orleans along the Mexican border till Los Angeles. In 1854, senator Douglas (Ill.) presented the Kansas-Nebraska bill, which recommended the repeal of the Missouri compromise with the issue of slavery to be decided by popular sovereignty in the new regions to be created- Kansas and Nebraska.
This bill was strongly backed by the pierce administration and was passed despite huge opposition and hostile public opinion. The bill did not specify when popular sovereignty should be applied to the territory. While the southerners felt that slavery should be allowed and only when admission was sought, then popular sovereignty should be exercised, Douglas believed that the first settlers should decide and that the earliest elections were important. Utah, New Mexico and Nebraska were not being discussed by the southerners as possible slave states because the region was too arid. But Kansas was situated close to the slave state of Missouri and the soil was suited to slavery.
Northern anti-slavery states set up aid societies to help northerners to settle in Kansas hoping to make it a free state. The settlers were mainly against both slavery and slaves and had no sympathies with either the abolitionists or the southerners. In the election of 1855 in Kansas, many Missourians came and voted for slavery electing pro slavery candidates. The government formed was pro slavery and supported by the pierce administration. While the abolitionists formed their own government and drafted a free state constitution, the pro slavery government established a slave state and drafted a constitution.
Initial hostility between the two governments in Kansas escalated into full-scale violence and Kansas was referred to as "bleeding Kansas". John brown, a northern abolitionist further worsened the situation when he led a band of armed men and killed 5 proslavery inhabitants of Kansas in 1856. In 1859, he captured an arsenal in Virginia and hoped to lead an attack to free the slaves in the south. Though he was caught and executed, he was martyred by the north and vilified by the south further deepening the rift between the two sections. In 1856, senator Charles Sumner who was a radical anti slavery proponent was talking of violence in Kansas, accused senator butler of South Carolina.
Butlers nephew, Preston brooks beat Sumner unconscious later. This act of violence shows the deep feeling of the two sides. The north, infuriated by the passing of the Kansas-Nebraska bill and the fugitive slave bill passed many personal liberty laws, which made the capture of fugitive slaves very difficult. "Uncle Toms Cabin" was a book written by Harriet Beecher Stowe and first published in 1852. It greatly increased the resurgence of anti-slavery feeling, with its emotional force and dramatic effectiveness. It was an extremely influential book and fuelled the abolitionists fervor and broadened their public support.
The formation of the Republican Party by the combination of Whigs and democrats and the free soilers all of whom were anti slavery occured during this time. Their support base was from the western farmers and eastern businessmen. Charles Sumner and William Seward were the main leaders of the party. In the election of 1856, the democrats nominated James Buchanan who supported popular sovereignty, the republicans nominated john Fremont and the Whigs nominated Fillmore. Though Buchanan won the election, the success of the republican candidate in the north showed that without the northern democrats, the republicans were poised to defeat the democrats in 1860.
The Buchanan showed a decided southern bias in its work especially when the tariffs were lowered in 1857, the veto of the Homestead Act and pro-southern policies. Buchanans ineffectiveness in administration was further aggravated by the Dredscott's decision of the Supreme Court. Dredscott was a slave who belonged to an army surgeon who was from Missouri, a slave state. He was taken by his master to the free states of Illinois and Wisconsin and then brought back to Missouri. Later he sued that since he had resided in areas where slavery was prohibited by law he was a free man.
His case was picked up by abolitionists who helped him. Six judges of the Supreme Court agreed that since he was living in Missouri, he was a slave. Chief justice Taney further went on to say that since Dredscott was not a citizen of the country he did not have the right to bring the case to court. He also said that the congress could not abolish slavery from any sates since that interfered with the right of private property of a citizen, thus making the Missouri compromise unconstitutional and making slavery legal all over the country. A convention was held in Kansas by the proslavery faction, which drafted a constitution legalizing slavery. Buchanan supported this constitution called the Lecompton constitution.
The new governor of Kansas, Walker established free and fair election, which resulted in the freesoilers gaining control of the government, but Buchanan dismissed walker. Now the Democratic Party split with the northern wings led by Douglas and the southern wing still loyal to the administration. In the reelection for Douglas for the senate ship he was opposed by Lincoln. There were a series of debates and though Douglas was reelected, Lincoln became a national figure. In the presidential election of 1860, he was elected and his election precipitated the secession of the southern states. On 20 december1861, South Carolina unanimously voted for secession from the union.
Less than a month later, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas joined South Carolina in secession, though minority groups opposed it. The confederacy was formed with Jefferson Davis as the president. The union, under president Buchanan offered a compromise to reverse their secession. When this failed and Lincoln took over on 6 March, 1861he had to deal with this problem. Lincoln sent reinforcements to fort Sumter in South Carolina. When South Carolina attacked this force, war was declared in April 1861. Four of the remaining slave states joined the confederacy- Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas.
The western counties refused to go into war and formation of a new state of West Virginia occurred in 1863. Civil war In 1861, the United States was plunged into a four-year struggle, which proved to be the greatest civil war in history and the first modern war in which victory was decided by industrial strength. The north eventually won the war because she blockaded the confederate ports and imposed economic strangulation. The confederate army was led by general lee while the union had many able generals like grant, mc Dowell etc. Effects Of The Civil war The American civil war proved to be the greatest civil war waged in history.
It was the war fought between the northern and southern states of the American union. The sectional conflict caused by different reasons resulted in people on both sides getting antagonized with each other. The war raged all over the country, from Volved, New Mexico to St. Alban, Vermont. More than 3 million Americans fought the war and more than 600,000 men died in it. Also it was the first modern war in which victory depended primarily on industrial strength. There was also the newness of the war where plenty of new weapons, new strategies of destruction, new standards of generalship combined with the birth of photography which permanently could remind the people with all that had been photographed.
Around 50,00 books have been written on this event. Although Walt Whitman said that the real war will never get in a book, but this did not deter the people from writing. No one could have predicted the magnitude it brought America following the first shot at fort Sumter in South Carolina by the southern states (called the confederacy) on 12th April 1861. The war turned out to be the most defining and shaping event in American history so much so that we cannot imagine American history without it. In the 50000 books written, there are countless diaries, regimented history, biographies, social analyses, pictorial essays and other works that have treated the subject of the civil war in different ways. This was an event that had such great effects on the country that it conditioned the entire culture of America.
It became a focus of myth and the anchor of meaning for the whole society; such was the power of its fascination. 10 billion dollars of property was laid waste in the south while two-fifths of its livestock was destroyed. The south was completely devastated after 4 years of war. No other single event in the history of America has brought such momentous changes in all spheres of life. Never again was there a problem of secession.
The defeat of the south settled forever the question of secession, giving triumph to nationalism over sectionalism. The emergence of the Negro as a free citizen, created a new dimension in the political and social life of the nation, making vast changes in the arrangement of classes and in the course of industrial development. This is probably why Bearde called it a second American revolution. The war destroyed the planting aristocracy leading to the triumph of capitalist and free laborers. Also it augmented the power of the federal government at the cost of the rights of the state.
It pushed forward the power of the constitution. Thomas Cochran also pointed out that though there was clear symptom of rising industrialization before 1860, it was during and after the war that the real course of industrialization took place. And the structure of American business began to assume a shape, which became familiar in the later years. This view is supported by Faulkner and Hacker. The most dramatic effect of the civil war was on the south. It was vanquished, demoralised and had to orient itself to a new economic and social system because the war had destroyed its old basic structure.
So remarkable was the impact of the war that the post-bellum south has also been called the new south. Historians differ according to their pro-south and anti-south treatment. For example Thomson, who was pro-south, found that the southern leaders after reconstruction were honest and dedicated men but lacked the qualities of vision. This has been challenged by C. Van Woodward.
He suggests the southerners were not honest and characterized their leaders as redeemers, who advocated industrialization and reconciliation with the north and adopted by and large a more liberal attitude towards the Negroes. Amongst the social classes the Negroes were the most profoundly affected by the civil war. Apthekars viewpoint is useful in understanding the condition of the Negro in the civil war. Dr. potter says that the civil war put an end to "chattel slavery". It was the biggest act of confiscation in history. The civil war freed the American chattel slaves and now there was an overwhelming shortage of labor. Immigration was encouraged after 1864.
The southern economy fell into disarray. The confederate money and lands were valueless and its holders impoverished. The plantations were ruined and cotton production had declined and whatever manufacturing that existed was destroyed. There were wounded war veterans and broken families. In many places, the civil government had disintegrated.
The war also saw the triumph of northern capitalism. However the efforts of assessment of the effects of the civil war are still continuing.
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