There are some reasons given as to what caused the break of the civil in the United States. The questions that linger in our minds is what are these causes and how did they bring the rapture of the civil war? Do these causes have supporting facts or are they based on word of mouth from the past? The core reasons that led to the outbreak of the war in the period between 1861 and 1865 can be built on the political wrangles that were experienced in the American society between 1800 and 1860. There is a wide-range of literature that covers the story using credible facts. The disagreements brought divisions between the Northern and Southern states. The main bone of contention was slavery among other reasons such as taxes (Keegan 2010).
During this era, the United States was seen as a divided nation based on values, economy, and culture. As disparities grew between the two fronts, the battle ensued. Were these social differences the main issues behind the eruption of the fight? Not necessarily. The battle ensued after the weaker Southern states felt that they needed to free themselves from the central governance in Washington. Also, the fact that the Northern states were against slavery and advocated for its abolition upset the southerners. The southerners went ahead and would later disregard the federal laws and stick to their state laws (Hummel 2013). When was the first attempt and was it based on firm basis? A raid conducted by a radical, John Brown, in 1859, marked the start of a series of attacks. John felt that if he supplied weaponry to the slaves, they would find a way of retaliating from their slavery state. Despite his attempts, he was captured and executed, an action that led to increased tension between the Northern and Southern states.
Another controversial question that can be raised is whether the civil war was necessary. There are those who supported the civil war while others were opposed. In light of several facts, the civil war necessary in bringing a level of understanding between the different states. However, there could have been other possible means of solving the conflicts rather than engaging in confrontations. The warring fronts would have involved in mediation by sending peace emissaries who would have resolved the issue in an amicable manner. During the engagement in the battlefield, there was bloodshed that would have been avoided through the application of the latter mentioned approach. These battles escalated over time, and the rivalry between the participating states increased. It is thus, true to say that the actions aggravated the situation rather than bringing a peaceful coexistence.
Considering that the South had a smaller population compared to the North, were there chances that the South would have won the war? Yes. Despite its size and population, the southern region had some advantages during the battle which would have seen them win the war. Some of these included the robust military leadership, motivation of the army by locals, and the large farms in the southern states that provided their soldiers with sufficient food. The most fighting happened in the south of the country which means that the soldiers received their food from home while those from the north depended on foods delivered by rail. The strategy used by the Confederate soldiers was that they could stand against the northern army until they became tired and left at their pace (Reid 2014). However, the southerners were overwhelmed by the large numbers of soldiers of the North. The population comparison during the war indicated that the North had over twenty-two million persons while the South had five million inhabitants.
Was the action by the southern states' leaders of threatening to leave the Congress justifiable? To an extent, the leaders were right in their attempt to move. The Northern region had more states and a higher population than the southern front. Therefore, the leaders in the Congress tried to use their tyranny of numbers to influence individual decisions. There were regular heated debates regarding the issue of slavery between the two regions. ome of the southern states even demanded to secede from the federal government and form their laws after seeing that their views in the congress were not considered. The Congress should have respected the ideas of the minority leaders from the southern regions. The election of Abraham Lincoln as president heightened the worries of the leaders of the South. They feared that the leader would not favor their perspective. The leader vowed to unite the two rivalry regions so as to enhance country-wide developments (Marx & Engels 2000). However, the southerners could not take his word for it since the predecessor was against them.
Were the efforts to bringing the war under control substantial? The process of avoiding and managing the civil war was many but did not meet the levels that escalated during the period. There were several efforts by parties from either side to mitigate the issue which flopped. One of the last efforts that were applied was referred as the Crittenden compromise. The effort was propagated by politicians from both the southern and northern fronts. It was initiated by the then senator from Kentucky, John Crittenden. It was viewed as an effort aimed at addressing why the states of the south had contemplated secession. The compromise failed to attain the approval of the Senate by one vote meaning that it was never applied. The failure of this last effort saw South Carolina and six other states secede from the United States and formulated their constitution (Marx & Engel 200). Formation of such a structure was irrelevant and uncalled for since the secession was not officiated by the Congress. There failed to be other considerable measures which would have been used to end the war. Failure of one significant effort did not necessitate the rise of the states for secession.
The fight against slavery was necessary. The United States had become independent for quite some time. Increasing the war could only mean that the country was not united. For a young country, cohesion between various parties was vital to achieving socioeconomic and political stability. The country's segregation saw a drift into two opposing fronts. Therefore, however, important the fight against slavery was, there was the need to maintain national peace. The civil war brought endless suffering to the people in both the southern and northern fronts. When viewed from this perspective, the civil war is seen as disastrous for the country as a whole. However, to those who knew what they were fighting for, it was worth the struggle. Despite the North's win, the southern states also believed they had achieved reinforcing their will.
Hummel, J. (2013). Emancipating slaves, enslaving free men: a history of the American civil war. Open court.
Keegan, J. (2010). The American Civil War: A Military History. Vintage Books.
Marx, K., & Engels, F. (2000). Writings on the American civil war.
Reid, B. H. (2014). The Origins of the American Civil War. Routledge.
Legal slavery as the major campaign in 1860 for the presidential contest
The major campaign in 1860 for the presidential contest was about slavery. Slavery was legal in the southern and illegal in the northern. In this case, many of the people of the north never believed in slavery and were in support of abolishing it while the southern never wanted to end it. This was the case issue between the federal government and the state government. The election competition was among four leaders, but Lincoln emerged the winner with 39 percent of the Electoral College votes. While in office, he promised that he would not make laws on slavery in the south, but since he was from the northern region, he was not in support of slavery (Donald, 2015). Lincoln promised that he was to let the Congress decide whether lands that were not yet part of the Union would be admitted as Free states or slave states. Though Lincoln proposed this views, the southern were not in support. Before the election, the Southern had protested threatening to withdraw from the United States and start their country.
When Lincoln won the presidency, the first state to secede was South Carolina on 20th December 1860, and for the next six months ten more states withdrew, and they came together to form the Confederate States of America known as Confederacy. The Union army refused to surrender its forts in the south. On 12th April 186, Confederacy gunners opened fire and capture Fort Summer in Charleston Harbor off the coast of South Carolina (Beringer, 2000). The civil was that Lincoln had hoped to avoid had started. At this time, the battle line between the northern and the southern had been drawn. The article will discuss the advantage the Northern had over the Southern during this civil war.
Abraham lincoln leadership
In the north of the President Abraham Lincoln exercised Superior leadership and command over the leaders in the north. Lincoln as the elected president of the United States was instrumental to the advantage of the northern. To win the civil war, President Lincoln new that he had to change his leadership. He was more successful with better political instincts which were evident based on his supremacy into the presidency. He was calculative in his dealings and moves and knew the right time to make decisions and execute them. The main challenges were to reestablishing control over the army and recapturing public opinion. With this two, he was certain that he was to conquer the southern and win the war. In the summer of 1863, he changed the way he related to his generals by moving away from submissive style to assertive tone. Under President Lincoln orders the Union army started to register some victories starting with Gettysburg and Vicksburg (Donald, 2015). The Union army continued to be successful and victorious in the war. In winning the public opinion, he did away with the previous role of the presidents of just running the government and sharing their wish with the Congress.
The other reason why the North had the advantage was that of the population. At the time of the civil war, the population of the northern was 22 million, and that of the south was 9 million with including 3.5 million slaves. With this demographics, it was quite evident that the population of the northern was double that of the south. This gave them the advantage of the workforce of their competitor (Donald, 2015). The industrialization in the north had attracted many immigrants after, and during the time of the war, this was also the reason for increased population. In this case, the balance of the army was the ratio of two in the north over 1 in the south. The slave population, did to some extent provide labor support of the Confederate contributing indirectly to the war effort.
Effects of industrialization
Industrialization was also one of the advantages of the north because of the magnitude it played during the civil war. The industrialization of the north was there before the civil war, influencing many immigrants to move to the south in search of jobs. At the time when the war started, the South had only one night of the industrial capacity in comparison to the north. In this case, there was a great difference in the construction of the war materials. At this time of the war, the North produced close to 97 percent of the countries firearms, 93 percent of its pig iron and 96 percent of the railroad locomotive. By the time the war started, the Southern had not capitalized in the industrial revolution having only 29 percent of the total national rail truck (Donald, 2015). At this period the northern urbanization was swifter giving the region the complexity economy. This meant that they had more money than the south had and could easily influence their economy. According to Donald (2015), the Northern had had $234,000,000 in bank deposit and coined money while the Confederacy had $74,000,000. With this, the Northern was able to provide weapons and war machinery for its army creating a more advantageous for them compared to the south. Many cities thrived in the north which included, Chicago, Detroit, New York and Cincinnati with the south having few metropolitan areas.
The army that fought for the north was the Union Army which was also called the federal army. This army comprised of several armies covering some departments in which the war was fought. The Army engaged in the war were the Army of the Potomac which was the largest Army, Army of the Cumberland, Army of the Ohio, and Army of the Tennessee among others. This army included the recruits of the United States regulars which were the professional soldiers and the volunteer's units. The founding fathers maintained small armies with the fears that other people may use the army to overthrow the democratically elected government. During this time of civil war, the north was forced to seek for volunteers to help out during the war. At last the northern military was victorious.
Abolition of slavery
According to Beringer (2000), the southern regions of the time of war, they were influential regarding their agricultural performance. This is because, they embraced slavery, forcing slaves to work in their agricultural land thus increasing their productivity. During this time, when the northern abolished slavery, many of the slaves opted to escape and move to the north because they could attain their freedom. The liberation and escape of the slaves from south to north led the Confederate agricultural system while invigorating the union. The slaves admired the northern rule and fought against the southern because they knew this was the only way to end slavery. The strength and weaknesses of the slave labor and free market became clear with its ability to sustain and support war economy. The magnitude of the northern economy and industrialization soared to suppress the rebellion. The southern small industrial base and agricultural economy which was based on slavery made mobilization of resources difficult.
In conclusion, the northern enjoyed a significant advantage over the south which was the main reason why the northern were victorious over the South during the war. The southern enjoyed leadership under the superior command of President Abraham Lincoln. Compare to Davis of the South; Lincoln was a strong leader. Lincoln won his leadership reestablishing control over the army and recapturing public opinion. Poor leadership in the south made the Confederate government manage poorly its economy which resulted in inflation. The industrialization in the north had attracted many immigrants after, and during the time of the war, this was also the reason for increased population. The population of the northern was 22 million, and that of the south was 9 million with including 3.5 million slaves. At this period the northern urbanization was swifter giving the region the complexity economy. This meant that they had more money than the south had and could easily influence their economy. The military in the north was more organized and received more support from the government regarding resources. The northern support for the abolishment of slavery influenced the slaves in the south to be part of the north union playing a role indirectly to the victory of the north.
Beringer, R. E. (2000). Why the South lost the Civil War. Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press.
Donald, D. H. (2015). Why The North Won The Civil War. Pickle Partners Publishing.
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