Cival War Essay

1476 words - 6 pages

The civil war is the world's first modern conflict. It introduces new methods and tools of warfare.The two regions have developed in two different ways.The South is primarily an agricultural area, with an economy based mainly on the growing of cotton. While the Northern landscape is filled with smoke-belching factories, the South has steamboats preparing to transport bales of cotton to the northern factories and to manufacturers in Europe.The economic differences alone are not serious enough to cause a war. Raising and harvesting cotton requires an enormous number of field hands. The south meets this demand through the use of slave labor. On huge plantations and small farms throughout the south, approximately four million slaves, held against their will, form the labor force that sustains the cotton industry.Men and women who call themselves abolitionists are determined to see salvery declared illegal. Their fiery speeches and publications cause bitter feelings in the South, where the antislavery movement is seen as a serious threat tot the economy and way of lfe. Fuel is added to the fire in 1852, when Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes her antislavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. One of the most influential novels of all time, the book adds to the growing tensions between North and South.In 1859, tensions come to a head. Abolitionist John Brown attempts to start a slave revolt by leading a raid on the federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Virginia.Then, in 1860, Abraham Lincoln, whom Southerners see as a foe of slavery, is elected president of the United States.Upon news of Lincoln's election, seven Southern states secede from the United States and form the Confederate States of America. On April 12, 1861, forces of the newly forming Confederate army fire upon and capture the federal garrison at Fort Sumter, S.C. Four more Southern states then secede. The nation splits apart, and the n. and s. are at war.The civil war will test the loyalties of every family. Men who have been friends for years will find themselves opposing each other on the same bloody battlefield.In may of 1861, Lincoln's call for 500,000 is answered by the enlistment of 700,000.The same confidence permeates the South.The north has a much larger manpower. Some 22 million people as compared to a white population of 7 million in the south. While the south has about 18 thousand manufacturing plants, the north has more than a 110 thousand factories, most capable of making war supplies.The souths benifets. The north will have to invade the south and fight on terrain familiar to the southern forces. The south will be commanded by Robert e. Lee, the greatest military strategist of the era, while the north will struggle throughout the war to find a cammander close to Lee's abilities. Also southern soldiers will be fighting to preserve their way of life. They have inspiration.Before the civil war is over, the union army alone will include some 800 thousand combatants under eighteen years...

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