Was The Civil War Worth It

Was The Civil War Worth It? Was the civil war worth it? I believe that the civil war was worth it. Even though a lot of negative consequences came out of it, the positive changes outweighed the negative. To get a full understanding of why it was positive, one will have to understand what were the causes of war, changes resulting from war, and the consequences. The largest cause was the differences in thoughts about slavery. The North and South had contained their differences over slavery for sixty years after the Constitutional Convention.

Compromise in 1787 had resolved the questions of slave trade and how to count slaves for congressional representation. Although slavery threatened the uneasy sectional harmony in 1820, the Missouri compromise had established a workable balance of free and slave states and defined a geographic line (36*30) to determine future decisions.(361) Each apparent resolution, however, raised the level of emotional conflict between North and South and postponed ultimate settlement of the slavery question. (362) The Compromise of 1850 which admitted California as a free state, ending the balance of free to slave states. Territorial governments were organized in New Mexico and Utah, allowing the people to decide the question of slavery. Slave trade was also abolished in the District of Columbia. The Compromise of 1850 was the last attempt to keep slavery out of politics, but the compromise only delayed more serious sectional conflict.

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(364) In 1854, Kansas held a vote as whether to allow slavery in the territory, twice as many ballots were cast as the number of registered voters, a few months later another vote was held to settle the debate. What resulted was two separate legislatures were formed. One, banning slavery, the other allowing it. Civil war looked imminent in the near future of Kansas, and eventually violence broke out. In May of 1856 a mob smashed offices and presses of a Free-Soil newspaper and destroyed homes and shops.

Three nights later John Brown and few of his men hacked five men to death, the same week Charles Sumner lashed out against pro slavery and in return was beaten by a cane two weeks later. The New York Tribune warned We are two peoples. We are a people for Freedom and a people of Slavery. Between the two, conflict is inevitable. As the rhetoric and violence in Kansas demonstrated, competing visions of two separate cultures for the future destiny of the United States were at stake.

Despite many similarities between North and South the gap between the two sides widened. (374) Each side saw the other threatening its freedom, as hostilities rose, the views each section had of the other grew steadily more rigid.(376) Five major reasons Two days after James Buchanans inauguration, the Supreme Court finally ruled in Dred Scott v. Sandford. The decision was the blacks were beings of an inferior order [who] had no rights which white men were bound to respect , It also stated that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional. (377) Lincolns election of 1860 was possibly the greatest sectional divider. The American nation, he said, was in a crisis and building toward a worse one. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free, Lincoln said he did not expect the Union to be dissolved or the house to fall but rather that it will become all one thing or all the other. He believed in white superiority, opposed granting specific equal civil rights to free blacks and said that differences between whites and blacks would forever forbid the two races from living together on terms of social and political equality, colonization was the best solution. He also believed that blacks were entitled to the natural rights in the Declaration of Independence, blacks were his equal.(378) These statements enraged differing ideas of slavery and the rights of blacks. John Brown, unlike Lincoln was prepared to act decisively against slavery. On October 16, 1859 he and a band of 22 men attacked a federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia.

He had hoped to provoke a general uprising of slaves throughout the upper South or at least provide arms for slaves to make their way to freedom. Federal troops overcame him and half his men died and he was captured and later hanged. Although he died he wasnt a failure. His daring raid and his dignified behavior during trial and a speedy execution unleashed powerful passions. The North-South gap widened.(379) On December 20, 1860, South Carolina seceded, declaring the experiment of putting people with different pursuits and institutions under one government a failure. By February 1, the other six Deep South states also left the Union.

A week later the Confederate States of America was created. On March 4 Lincoln reminded the nation that the only substantial dispute was that one section of our country believes slavery is right and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong and ought not to be extended. He said that he would make no attempt in interfering with slavery and put the burden of civil war on the South. He then closed his speech with the following as if he had foreseen the events that would follow: I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends.

We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. It was as if Lincoln knew of what was in the near future. On April 12, as Lincolns relief expedition neared Charleston, Beauregards batteries began shelling Fort Sumter, and the Civil War had began.

(384) Ideas of the war were very miscalculated, many believed the war would last weeks and some even suggested that the blood that would be shed could be cleaned up with a handkerchief. The war was also a war of bring the Union back together. The thoughts and ideas of war and other changes in technologies and culture during the next four years were extraordinary. Lincoln called for 75,000 state militiamen for only 90 days of service, this supported the notion that the war would be short. (388) Many instances of poor treatment of the soldiers and inadequate nutrition and clothing often led to desertion. An estimated one of every nine Confederate soldiers and one of every seven Union troopers deserted. Now that many soldiers were deserting or more likely being killed manpower was becoming very short and the problems critical.

This war has already gone longer than anyone had every thought it would go and thousands had already died. Both governments resorted to the draft since manpower was low, ultimately, over 30 percent of the Confederate Army and 6 percent of the Union forces were draftees. These draft laws were very unpopular and in July 1863, the resentment boiled over in New York City in the lar …


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