The Civil War is arguably one of the most
significant events in American History.
The war dramatically altered American understandings of citizenship,
freedom, and society. The beginning of
the war did not happen overnight. It
took years of compromise, debate, and conflict.
In an essay please respond to the following using specific
facts/dates/specifics, and analysis.
- The civil war, indeed, one of the most
- significant events in American history.
- There were multiple events that lead to war. America was became increasingly divided as a
- nation and the world was watching.
- American was built on a number of distinct fault lines and one of them
- was slavery and freedom. In the south
- slavery is a way of life, even for non-slave owners. Anti-slavery forces in the
- north threaten the South’s right to decide their fate. After
- abolition in the North, slavery had become an institution unique to southern
- society. The North and South toed the
- line, the The Mason Dixon line. While
- the MD line was initially established in 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah
- Dixon as a resolution to a border dispute it eventually was the division line
- for North/South; Freedom/Slavery. Two of the events that lead to the civil war
- was the publishing of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the movement lead by John
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin is one of the most
- effective literature for the anti-slavery movement. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin (a loosely written autobiography about the
- fugitive slave Josiah Henson) in 1852. By
- 1854 it had sold more than 1 million copies as well and inspired many people to
- stand up against slavery. Stowe
- portrayed slaves as sympathetic men and women.
- Slaves were Christians (which contradicted the popular belief of most).
- She showed how slaves were held at to the mercy of their owners and how
- slaveholders split up families and abused their slaves. Uncle Tom’s Cabin
- spread like wild fire and sparked abolitionists to act
- John Brown is an armed
- abolitionist who led many attacks on slave owners. In May of 1856, after the
- attack on Lawrence, he gathered a few likeminded people and they murdered five
- proslavery settlers at Pottawatomie Creek.
- On October 16, 1859 Brown leads 21 men (5 black) in an ill attempt to
- seize Harpers Ferry. John brown wanted to light the fuse in
- the anti-slavery movement and he wants to lead a slave rebellion. His hopes were that by taking Harpers Ferry
- he could arm the slaves who, upon hearing of their attack would, of course,
- want to join. They didn’t. Brown was
- captured by federal solders commanded by Colonel Robert E. Lee and found guilty
- of treason in Virginia and Governor Henry A. Wise ordered his execution. Brown became a martyr for the North.
- The south was dependent on
- slavery for the crop production of cotton.
- The north was not dependent on slaves because they primarily dealt with
- the processing of cotton and other industrial productions. When Congress prohibited the import of
- slaves from Africa in 1808, the massive slave trade industry boomed within
- America. Between 1820 and 1860 roughly 2
- million slaves had been sold. These slave traders were brutal and
- uncaring. They split up families, sold
- sick slaves, and found ways to hide brutal treatment. Most in the South believed that blacks were
- innately inferior and unsuited for any other life but slavery. They believed that blacks carried the mark of
- Caine and were condemned by God through the act of Caine killing Able.
- As the treatment of slaves were revealed by abolitionists
- through pamphlets and literature like Uncle Tom’s Cabin the
- abolitionist movement expanded rapidly throughout the North. Between the
- formation of the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833 and the end of the
- decade, around 100,000 northerners joined local groups devoted to abolition.
- The country was
- expanding, not only in its boundaries, but in its beliefs. As we expanded westward Slavery was always a
- constant debate. Wither it was the Texas Revolution in 1836 when Steve Austin
- asks for independence and imprisoned by Antonio Santana because Texans wanted
- to keep their slaves but Mexicans don’t want to allow more. Or in March 1857 Chief
- Justice Roger B. Taney declared that only white persons could be citizens of
- the United States and all
- slaves are property and the government cannot take slaves away from masters or
- prevent them from moving. A line was
- being drawn, gloves were dawned, and they toed the line. Like John Brown said “…the
- crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood.”
- It seems the country today still has troubles with this
- line. While slavery is gone, the
- treatment of people is still a state of turmoil. People of color are persecuted and judged. There are laws against this but it happens
- anyhow. There seems to be a new civil
- war brewing now though. The beliefs of equal
- rights are pitting this country against itself.
- I cant help but find similarities between the fight against slavery and
- the fight about equal rights. While I
- doubt it will lead to a new civil war, I certainly hope we can reflect on the
- past to avoid the devastation our country once experienced. It seems our country has once again, toed the
- line. We can only wait and see what the
- outcome is.