The American Civil War: Uncompromising Differences and Their Impact
The American Civil War was very deadly, killing many soldiers. The Civil War was a war between the northern states and the southern states. The Civil War started in 1861 and ended in 1865. The South wanted to preserve slavery while the North was fighting to end slavery. The Civil War happened for different reasons, including slavery, economic differences between the North and South, and the election of Abraham Lincoln.
Uncompromising Differences Leading to Secession
The election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 caused seven southern states to secede and form the Confederate States of America; four more states joined them.
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The war was one of the deadliest wars fought in America, causing 620,000 of 2.4 million soldiers killed. The Civil War started because of uncompromising differences between the free and slave states over the power of the national government to prohibit slavery in the territories that had not yet become states. When Lincoln won the election in 1860 as the first Republican president on a platform to keep slavery out of the territories, several slave states in the South seceded and formed a new nation, the Confederate States of America.
In the first battle of the Bull Run on July 21, 1861, 35,000 Confederate soldiers under the command of Thomas Jonathon “Stonewall” Jackson forced a greater number of Union forces to head towards Washington D.C., for any hopes of a quick victory and leading Lincoln to call for 500,000 more recruits. By contrast, the South was based on large farms that produced crops such as cotton and relied on slaves as the main labor force. Rather than invest in factories as Northerners had done, Southerners invested their money in slaves even more than land. In the 1850s, the price of cotton had skyrocketed, and the value of slaves rose.
Legacy and Significance
In March 1864, Lincoln put Ulysses S. Grant in command of the Union armies. Leaving William Tecumseh Sherman in control in the West. Grant headed to Washington, where he led the Army of the Potomac toward Robert E. Lee’s troops in Northern Virginia. Sherman outmaneuvered Confederate forces to take Atlanta by September, after which he and 60,000 Union troops began the famous “March to the Sea,” devastating Georgia on the way to capturing Savannah on December 21. Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina, fell to Sherman’s men by February, and Jefferson Davis handed over the supreme command to Lee. The Union won the American Civil War. The war officially ended in May 1865 when Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his troops to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
In conclusion, the Civil War was extremely deadly, causing 620,000 deaths of soldiers. The North won the war due to the advantages it had, including its leaders’ political skills, a larger navy, and its war strategy. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated right before the end of the Civil War. Some have called the American Civil War the last of the old-fashioned wars; others have termed it the first modern war. Overall, the American Civil War had a big part in creating this nation.
- “Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era” by James M. McPherson
- “The Civil War: A Narrative” by Shelby Foote
- “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris Kearns Goodwin