American History: The Civil War Essay

1504 words - 6 pages

The characteristics of the American North and American South prior to the civil differed greatly in regard to economic, political and social factors, thus setting the stage for the most divisive battle between fellow American citizens that America had experienced to date. The American civil war lasted for five long years, from 1860 to 1865, and the effects of the civil war left a long lasting hostile divide on America’s social, political and economic scenes, both in the North and South. The uniquely different characteristics of the American North and South and how they interact with each other would be changed forever. The Civil War was the most divisive war in American history. In the early 1800s, the United States experienced a growth of nationalism and unity, but it was replaced by sectionalism, leading to the Civil War.
It has been extremely difficult to exactly pin-point the causes and effects of the war. The United States Civil War had international impact, not only because of the growing international status of the United States, but also because the war threatened world access to the South's cotton. France and Great Britain were the two main countries that had particular interest in the wars outcome, but other nations were as well affected by it. The American Civil War was a conflict over way of life. The Southern states depended upon the agriculture of the slaves, including cotton production. There were many reasons why the South wanted to separate from the union and there were also many reasons why the North wanted to maintain the Union.
The main reason the South wanted to separate was to become an independent state. The Southerners did not want to get rid of their slavery system because it was critical to their economy. The Election of 1860 was another reason the South wanted to separate because Southerners were afraid that President Lincoln would abolish or get rid of slavery in the South. Sectionalism was another problem because the South had made their needs or desires more important than the Union itself. The slaves were forced to work 16-hour days, slave women were only seen as breeders and there were no laws against the rape of a female slave. In 1860 slaves accounted for one third of the South's population and even still they had no rights. The Unionist North believed it was immoral to own another human being.
The main reason the North wanted to maintain the Union was because they had not want other states separating. Slavery was a huge issue for the North. The North was much industrialized and had a stable economy in comparison to slave-dependent South. During the mid-1800s immigration to the North skyrocketed. Many Irish immigrants were willing to work for almost anything and withstand inhumane factory conditions. Although this exploitation was extremely cruel and much likes the treatment of the slaves in the South, the Northern economy
profited immensely. Come 1860, the Union had an overwhelming advantage over the...

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