Civil War Marked a Pivotal Time Essay

Pages: 6 (1835 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History

Civil War marked a pivotal time in American History. The country was divided along geographic lines. The purpose of this discussion is to examine the Civil and the manner in which it shaped our national views on freedom, democracy, justice and equality. The research will also examine how this event was shaped by forces of geography, politics, society, and economics. Also, the research will discuss the influence of leadership in this conflict, with specific views and comment on Lincoln, Grant, and Lee. The research will also involve opinion on whether this event continues to influence our nation, and what the speeches and thoughts of Lincoln have meant to the development of our nation and its culture over the years.

About the Civil War

According to the library of congress the Civil War took place from 1860-1865. The conflict arose because their were differences in opinion concerning how much control the federal government had over the states as it pertained to trade, industrialization and the institution of slavery. This disagreement led to the succession of the Southern states in 1860 following the election of Abraham Lincoln. When the southern states succeeded they formed their own government which was referred to as Confederate States of America ("Civil War"). This succession led to the civil war in which the North eventually defeated the South and the Southern states rejoined the United States.

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The impact of the Civil War on national views

Essay on Civil War Marked a Pivotal Time in Assignment

As it pertains to freedom, one of the outcomes of the Civil War was the abolishment of slavery. Slavery had already been abolished in the North and the war also gave slaves in the south their freedom. Proceeding the Civil war America experienced a great deal of growth. Much of this growth came from the sell and trade of cotton (Mcpherson 6). Not only was the cotton trade beneficial to the American South and New England but it also benefited the economies of England. The profitability of cotton made the abolition of slavery extremely difficult (Mcpherson 6). However, those in the North and Many in the South were appalled by the institution of slavery. There were fears that the succession of the southern states would further isolate t hat region of the country and slavery would never end. While slavery was not the only reason that the war was waged, it was a factor. Although the slaves were freed they endured many hardships, that took many years to overcome. Today, America seems to have some concrete views about freedom. It is definitely something that is valued. Not only in terms of race relations but in terms of other aspects of freedom including free speech and the freedom of the press. In many countries around the world such freedoms do not exist and as such people continue to immigrate to the United States so that they can enjoy these freedoms.

The Civil War has also fashioned America's sense of justice and equality. The outcome of the Civil War changed the lives of Black American's forever. In addition, it served the purpose of exposing the idea that justice and equality was for all Americans. The lessons learned about justice and equality during the Civil War also propelled the later movement for civil rights. The civil war assisted in fashioning the idea that everyone had a right to the same privileges. In this way the civil war gave the civil rights movement some traction because it established the idea that blacks were equal and should have the rights afforded to other United States Citizens.

In addition to racial equality, the issue of gender equality was also fashioned by the Civil War. Like racial equality, gender equality in America has taken years to develop and continues to be a major issue of concern. The civil war confirmed that America was willing to revise some of its believes, particularly when those beliefs are inconsistent with America's founding documents.

The Civil War also played an important role in shaping America's views about democracy. The southern succession from the union was a testament to the idea of democracy. The southern states were not satisfied with the input of the federal government and believed that they could form a government that was consistent with their beliefs. Amongst these beliefs was that institution of slavery was needed and necessary. However, the institution if slavery was in direct contradiction with the declaration of independence which states that all men are created equal. If this was the case the slavery should not exist. This was the argument of the abolitionist movement. Ultimately these democratic ideas were reflected when slavery was abolished. The Civil war and the events that followed demonstrated that although America is not perfect, it is committed to moving towards perfection. In every decade sense the Civil War there has been some progress towards this goal. The Civil War has shaped the views of America as it pertains to the type of democracy the nation wants to become.

How the Civil War Shaped Geography, politics, society and economics

From a geographical standpoint the Civil War Was divided along geographic lines. The confederacy included Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas. In some of these states the confederate flag is still flown on state owned properties. Some of these states also have bad reputations for being racist and not progressing in ways that other parts of the United States have. The Civil War left these states with a stain which has not fully been removed. Following the Civil War and Reconstruction many black from the south moved to northern cities such as Chicago and Detroit in search of a better life. Although racism exist everywhere, the North was and still is believed to be more tolerant of people of color. This belief stems not only from the way that people are treated but also the stance that the North took before and during the civil war as it pertained to the abolition of slavery.

From a political standpoint, today many of the states in the North have been viewed as more liberal (Democratic) while southern states are viewed as more conservative (Republican). Although this is true at the current time there was a time when the South was firmly democratic and the North was republican. This was a result of the political ideologies that existed within the parties at the time. Today the reality of the political divide is always apparent during presidential elections. Although the aforementioned Republican and Democratic states have leaned towards their respective parties historically, there were changes during the 2008 election. For instance, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida all went democratic. These are states that were all members of the confederacy. Although the civil war was divisive in some ways it set the stage for the political changes that followed.

As it pertains to society, the Civil War completely altered American society forever. These changes in society are related to the movements that wre propelled by the civl war including the Civil Righta Movement and the Women's Movement. In this respect issues such as integration and women in the workplace has forever altered the social constructs of America. The intergration that can about as a result of the civil rights movement led to the development of a society that is more accepting and culturally aware than would have been achieved otherwise. In addition the cultural exchanges between the north and the south may not have been as prevalent. This can be seen in areas such as music. For instance Jazz, the Blues, Blue Grass and gospel were all fashioned by the South. In this way the Civil War contributed greatly to the inclusiveness that is present in American Society. This inclusiveness ultimately led to the election of the first Black president.

From an economic standpoint the civil war was quite devastating especially in areas where certain battles took place. For instance in Georgia, Sherman's army did a great deal of damage in their quest to force the confederacy to its knees. There were fires set and homes were destroyed this caused a great deal of damage and destruction. There were also many lives lost (approximately half a million people). All of these things had an impact upon the economy and led to the need for reconstruction. During the reconstruction period which lasted from 1866-1877 a great deal of infrastructure was built. This Leadership

In addition to all of the aforementioned issues that arose as a result of the Civil War, some the America's greatest leaders were also fashioned by the Civil War. Military leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Grant, and Robert E. Lee. All of these leaders were dedicated to the Civil War. President Lincoln's election actually caused the Southern States to succeed from the Union. Lincoln recognized the problems that would arise if the succession was permitted.

Grant and Lee were particularly important to the civil war because f the battles they waged and won. Grant is responsible for… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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