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Civil War: A House Divided

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Dalton Castillo

Michael Fawley

History 1301

November 27, 2017                                                        

Civil War: A House Divided

        The Civil War was one of the most important events in United States history. The slavery issue played a major role in many things but most importantly created a division between the North and the South, causing the war. Most Northerners wanted slavery abolished while many Southerners wanted to keep slavery and embrace it. This created conflict and led to one of the longest and most gruesome wars in history.

        The election of Abraham Lincoln can be treated as a start of the ultimate succession of the Southern states. The South feared that Lincoln would make it his primary goal to abolish slavery and the South was not about to lose their state rights. Lincoln made it clear he was not supportive of slavery and feared the worst for the country when the topic came up. Lincoln stated, “I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free” (Pearson 370). After the election, South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas, all succeed from the great nations and formed the Confederate States of America (Pearson 373). This caused uproar across the United States and sent much fear into the nation as a Civil War was being openly discussed.

        The succession began as an attempt to be left alone and not have to give up the right to slavery. Lincoln was convinced the Southern states would eventually agree on a compromise and avoid war at all costs. However, this was not the case. Lincoln was a strong leader and would not give in to the Southern states demands. The South attempted to westernize slavery and expand and Lincoln would not budge. “On the territorial question, I am inflexible” (Pearson 373). Eventually, Fort Sumter began the attack of the Confederate states. The Southerners decided to decline the reinforcements sent by the federal government and instead attack the ship and receive surrender at the fort. This inclined the beginning of the Civil War.

        Early stages of the war called for factories and machinery to amp their production and created ample supplies for soldiers to come. “How fortunate does it seem then that we have them already made, so that 50 men or more might be at once be put to work to build the house and make the machinery” (Enquirer, 1). This shows the struggle and importance of building and creating the proper equipment needed to go to war. The soldiers were broke, which means they didn’t have money for food (Brock Letter, 1865)   Both the North and the South became insanely engaged in winning this fight. The North wanted to protect all those who had the right to freedom, as the South wanted to induce more slavery and essentially sway backwards on the Constitution.

        Both nations had tremendous confidence and drive going into the beginning of the war. However, the North had a greater population and also a much greater advantage in the economy. The North produced 97 percent of the nation’s firearms, 94 percent of its cloth, and 90 percent and shoes and boots (Pearson 380). Not only did the North have the material advantage, they also had a morality advantage. The people of the North (including African-Americans) were fighting to uphold their constitution which led to a greater strive to achieve victory. Although the South had economical disadvantages, they still had a great amount of confidence going into war. They were convinced the Northerners were afraid and would scatter at the first sign of bloodshed. Also, they knew the North would have to fight on their territory, which marked a large geographical advantage for those in the South (Pearson 381).

        Due to the rapid process and growth of the machinery and factories it gave so much more advantages to the North. From the years 1800-1860, workers in the agricultural field dropped from 70 percent to 40 percent (Civil War Trust, 1). Also, due to the aggressively large population, railroads and transportation was much easier in the North, which is what led to a vast majority of people to flee from Europe and begin a life in the North. The South had little economic advantages. Aside from prosperous farming, life in the South was much more difficult. Transportation was challenging, as well as the lack of modern technology at the time. Essentially the tough farm life in the South was becoming less and less common as machines and modern technology were starting to take over in the North. This was another reason the South decided to declare their freedom. Many believed they had been doing just fine until people started to want a change and they wanted to preserve the ways they were raised in.

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