Civil War Essay Sample
“The civil war in America is best described as one of the earliest true industrial wars in human history.” (Norton et al. 3). A number of factors have been brought forward to reinforce the belief that the beginning of the civil war in America was not marked by the firing at Fort Sumter. Most literatures point slavery, nationalism and honor, election of Lincoln as the President of the Union, tariffs and sectionalism as the major contributing factors to the rise of secession.
Slavery in the American society was more rampant in the Southern States where ninety-five percent of the black population lived. Therefore, the “fears of much emancipation were greater in the South than in the North” (Norton et al. 54). Actions of the white men against the blacks led to rise of “abolitionists” that was a major seed for the rise in secession. “Literacy through education was discouraged by the whites and made illegal and efforts to get literacy were subjected to punishment up to and including dismemberment and death” (Norton et al. 55). In 1740, a South Carolina law criminalized slaves teaching and made it literally denied opportunities for the few literate African-Americans to explore their acquired educational skills. The reason the whites discouraged and even outlawed education for the African Americans was that the whites felt that enlightenment spoilt the slaves and was not required at all for a field hand. In their opinions, black slaves were investments and were to serve as mere tools, sorely for the economic benefits of the whites.
The first decade of the 19th century saw all states in the south pass laws providing for the eventual cessation of slavery. The practice continued in the southern states, however. A law was also passed in 1830, in Louisiana that outlawed access to any form of literature that might insight African Americans against the continuing oppressions and which might make them rebellious. “Violations of these laws resulted in heavy punishments including being sentenced to jail, hard labor or even death sentences. But it was also realized by the whites that to drive production, some form of education for the African Americans was desirable. This in effect set in motion a series of un-intentioned events that presented some opportunities for the African Americans in the educational arena. The authors of A People and a Nation illustrate that “to enhance efficiency in production the whites had to hire farm laborers who were not only strong but also intelligent.” (Norton et al. 56). This is, perhaps, best described by these scientists who assert that:
“The inclination of certain owners to respond to the sheer challenge offered by a slave’s brightness of mind and gift of talents gave added impetus to the invasion of the plantation society by sentimentalism.” (Norton et al. 56).
The Lincoln victory in the presidential elections was not welcome by the Southern States who resented to this fact. The displeasure with the mentioned happening was demonstrated by the Declaration of Independence from the Union by the Southern States led by California. This event marked the beginning of physical confrontation between the Union and the confederates. The point is that, the events leading to the Civil War were not marked by a single occurrence, but comprised of factors that ran over long periods of time. This was a major contributing factor in the secession in that the Southern States were jittery of Lincoln’s leadership and feared that there was an oncoming possibility of an end to slavery. In February 1861, just before constituting the convention to solidify the existence of confederacy, six other states had been part of California’s move and had declared their independence from the Union.
The historians Norton M., Sheriff C., Chudacoff F. and others of their common work claim, “The majority of the Southern leaders who attended the convention expected a peaceful secession; they did not anticipate that their action would lead to bloody conflict; they were wrong in that Fort Sumter, lying in the harbor off the city of Charleston, South Carolina, would prove the point” (56). The declaration of their independence become the pinnacle of the Civil War in that Lincoln’s attempt to send relief and supplies to the Fort Sumter was turned down by the Governor of California. These led to a fiery of activities that signaled the beginning of a Civil War that is characterized by the application of all way of artillery. In essence, the American Civil War of 1861–1865 has been described as the first industrial war of its kind.
According to the available literature on the vents leading to Civil War, “After her secession from the Union, South Carolina perceived herself as a sovereign state – the presence of Union forces in an armed fortress whose guns commanded her principal harbor was intolerable as it belied her independence” (Norton et al. 2011).
In addition to the above, the exact date leading to the Civil War cannot be ascertained. This is because the events and factors that much contributed to the physical confrontation at the Fort Sumter were spread over a long time. Furthermore, sectionalism has been pointed out as a critical reason that facilitated to the Civil War. “Sectionalism refers to the different economies, social structure, customs and political values of the North and South.” (Binder and Reimers 15). The period between 1800 and 1860 was characterized by the increase in sectionalism between the North and the South in that the North was able to develop its industries, farms and urban settings as opposed to the South that relied on slave labor to support their farms. The differences between these two regions were reflected deep in the cultural and social aspects of the society.
“Southern concerns included not only economic loss but also fears of racial equality; The Texas Declaration of Causes for Secession said that the non-slave-holding states were proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color, and that the African race “were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race”” (Binder and Reimers 2012).
The American Civil War began on the twelfth of April, 1861, when Captain James made a shot of his gun. This occurence is noted to be the start of the North’s and South’s physical confrontation. That Unionists-Confederates’ fight finished in 1865 with the first ones victory, but took more than one million of military and civilian lives. The indicated happening has deeply rooted in each American’s consciousness and has formed for many years social and political components of the American society’s structure. Our modern social tissue was composed of the American people cultures joint in one that came from the shared history and faced challenges, with the Civil War being among the most key.
The American Revolution War, also called the American war of Independence was fought from 1775–1783 with the Kingdom of Great Britain. The war began on April 19, 1775, with the battle of Lexington and Concord (Binder and Reimens 1). This armed confrontation led to overthrowing of the British rule in the America that signaled change in the history of American politics. British rule had been imposed to 13 colonial governments that were established by the Second Continental Congress in the year, and it was till the 1775 that Revolutionaries took the control of the 13 administrative territories. In 1778, the United States of America declared their independence; that move was supported by other European nations.
Causes of the Revolutionary War
The need of political revolution in America was the main cause of the war (Binder and Reimers 13). The colonists were fed up by the legitimacy of British rule in their own territory who governed them without their representation whatsoever. In a bid to start a revolt, the First Continental Congress gathered to enhance their relation with the Great Britain. Their outcries were not given a consideration and in the following year, the Second Continental Congress was formed from Provincial Congresses to send petitions to George III to discuss their grievances without success. Americans then responded by declaring their independence in 1776 under one country, the United States of America. They yearned for sovereignty and at the same time withdrawing their allegiance with British Monarchy. France was in support of the US administration and to aid them, that European country supplied guns and ammunitions to the colonialists. The Continental’s rule of the British army motivated France’s intervention into the war in 1778. Dutch Republic and Spain which constituted former colonies of France and thus supported France in the war against the British administration for the following two years and threatened to invade England despite their vigorous attacks on Gibraltar and Minorca. Spain’s intervention led to the defeat of British army in West Florida, and this made Americans secure their colonies in the southern wing.
Binder, Frederick M. and Reimers, David M. The Way We Lived: Essays and Documents in American Social History. Vol. 1: 1492-1877. 7th ed. Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing, 2012. Print.
Norton, M. B., Sheriff, C., Blight, D. W., Chudacoff, H., Logevall, F., Bailey, B., and Michals, D. A People and a Nation: A History of the United States. Vol. 1: To 1877. 9th ed. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2011. Print.