Consequences of the civil war essay

You can view samples of our professional work here. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays. When the confederacy, consisting of eleven Southern slave states led by Jefferson Davis declared their secession from the rest of the United States commonly referred to as the Union, composing of the Free states and five slave states or Border States, which advocated for abolition of slavery, the War was born.

In March 4, , seven southern states declared their secession from the Union just before Lincoln took office. Consequently, the Lincoln administration declared this as a rebellion and rejected its legality. On April 12, , hostilities began. Confederate forces attacked at Fort Sumter in southern Carolina.

Lincoln responded by calling for volunteer armies from the remaining states and declared an Emancipation Proclamation which prioritized end of slave trade in the south as a war goal. These lead to secession by four more states. Important battles won by the Confederate commander Robert E. Lee in the east were neutralized by various vital battles such as The Battle of Gettysburg and the Capture of Vicksburg which availed access to the Mississippi River splitting the confederacy into two. On April 9, , Lee surrendered to Ulysses S.

Grant at Appomattox Court House, ending all Confederate resistance. While both the Union and the Confederates believed that they fought against tyranny and oppression, the Lincoln administration prioritized the war against slavery while the Confederates defended their right to self-rule. Various reasons have been put forward as to the reasons for the onset of the Civil War.

Key to these were the economic and social disparities between the North and the South, the clash between state and federal rights, the controversy between opponents and proponents of slave trade, the growth of the Slave trade Abolition Movement and the election of Abraham Lincoln coupled with the consequent battle at Fort Sumter.

The disparity in the economy and in the society was key in triggering the Civil War. In , Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. This was very profitable since it reduced the time taken in separating the seeds from the cotton hence farmers were encouraged to shift into cotton farming.

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Most farmers in the South shifted to plantation farming which required a larger workforce. This was easily provided by slaves who were a cheap source. Therefore, the Southern economy chiefly depended on cotton and therefore slaves whereas the North depended chiefly on industry rather than agriculture. Hence, the north was more urbane and had a vibrant city life.

This necessitated that different classes had to interact while the South upheld an antiquated social order. Secondly, since Revolution, there had been an existing controversy on whether states should be given more power or whether the federal government should exercise more control.

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The Articles of Confederation loosely governed the relationship between member states since the American Revolution and independence. However, due to common problems experienced, the leaders came up with the United States Constitution at the Constitutional Convention.

This usurped individual member states the power of nullification which enabled them to reject any federal acts they felt were interfering in their state rights. Consequently, strong proponents of state rights such as Thomas Jefferson, John C. Calhoun and Patrick Henry fought hard for nullification.

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This finally resulted in secession when the states felt that nullification was no longer being applied. But two years later, running against a Democratic party split into northern and southern factions, Lincoln won the presidency by carrying every northern state. It was the first time in more than a generation that the South had lost effective control of the national government. Southerners saw the handwriting on the wall. A growing majority of the American population lived in free states.

Pro-slavery forces had little prospect of winning any future national elections. The prospects for long-term survival of slavery appeared dim. To forestall anticipated antislavery actions by the incoming Lincoln administration, seven slave states seceded during the winter of — Before Lincoln took office on March 4, , delegates from those seven states had met at Montgomery, Alabama, adopted a Constitution for the Confederate States of America, and formed a new government with Jefferson Davis as president.

As they seceded, these states seized most forts, arsenals, and other Federal property within their borders—with the significant exception of Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. When Lincoln took his oath to "preserve, protect, and defend" the United States and its Constitution , the "united" states had already ceased to exist. When Confederate militia fired on Fort Sumter six weeks later, thereby inaugurating civil war, four more slave states seceded.

Secession and war transformed the immediate issue of the long sectional conflict from the future of slavery to the survival of the Union itself. Lincoln and most of the northern people refused to accept the constitutional legitimacy of secession. We must settle this question now, whether in a free government the minority have the right to break up the government whenever they choose. And the war came. The articles that follow focus on key aspects of the four-year conflict that not only preserved the nation, but also transformed it.

The old decentralized republic in which the federal government had few direct contacts with the average citizen except through the post office became a nation that taxed people directly, created an internal revenue bureau to collect the taxes, drafted men into the Army, increased the powers of federal courts, created a national currency and a national banking system, and confiscated 3 billion dollars of personal property by emancipating the 4 million slaves.

Eleven of the first 12 amendments to the Constitution had limited the powers of the national government; six of the next seven, beginning with the 13th amendment in , vastly increased national powers at the expense of the states. The first three of these postwar amendments accomplished the most radical and rapid social and political change in American history: the abolition of slavery 13th and the granting of equal citizenship 14th and voting rights 15th to former slaves, all within a period of five years.

This transformation of more than 4 million slaves into citizens with equal rights became the central issue of the troubled year Reconstruction period after the Civil War, during which the promise of equal rights was fulfilled for a brief time and then largely abandoned.

During the past half century, however, the promises of the s have been revived by the civil rights movement, which reached a milestone in with the election of an African American President who took the oath of office with his hand on the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln used for that purpose in The Civil War tipped the sectional balance of power in favor of the North.

From the adoption of the Constitution in until , slaveholders from states that joined the Confederacy had served as Presidents of the United States during 49 of the 72 years—more than two-thirds of the time.

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Twenty-three of the 36 Speakers of the House and 24 of the presidents pro tem of the Senate had been southerners. The Supreme Court always had a southern majority before the Civil War; 20 of the 35 justices down to had been appointed from slave states. After the war, a century passed before a resident of an ex-Confederate state was elected President.

For half a century only one of the Speakers of the House and no president pro tem of the Senate came from the South, and only 5 of the 26 Supreme Court justices named during that half century were southerners. The United States went to war in to preserve the Union; it emerged from the war in having created a nation. Before the two words "United States" were generally used as a plural noun: "the United States are a republic. The loose union of states became a single nation. In his first inaugural address he mentioned the "Union" 20 times but the "nation" not once. In his first message to Congress on July 4, , Lincoln used the word Union 32 times and nation only three times.

Roots: The Civil War and Its Legacy - History

But in his Gettysburg Address in November he did not mention the Union at all, but spoke of the nation five times to invoke a new birth of freedom and nationhood. The Civil War resolved two fundamental, festering problems left unresolved by the American Revolution and the Constitution. Your email address will not be published.

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