CIVIL WAR2Civil WarUnderstanding the Civil War is very important, to understand the way America has beenshaped through out the past couple of centuries. Shelby Foote, a historian, believed that the Civil War defines the people in America. The Civil War was a war involving the North (The Union) and the South (The Confederates) who had different points of view over whether or not slavery was justified. Ultimately hundreds of thousands (around 600,000) Americans lost their lives during the Civil War. Almost everybody in America was influenced and affected by the Civil War, from soldiers to women, from free Africans to slaves, the Civil War shaped America forever. The winner was the North; however, the Confederates put up a great deal of battles. The Confederates not only had superior military leaders, such as Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson, they also had a strong will to win the war. However, the Union’s great Army (in size), and their well organized economy assisted them just as much as the ultimate flaws of the Confederates. Although at the beginning the Confederates had a strong will to fight, toward the end of the Civil War its military was exhausted, many deserted the military. One other key factor was the ravaged economy of the Confederates. Because they separated from the Union and established their own government it was difficult for them to ever establish a well-organized economic structure to fund the war. Instead the confederates decided to print money rather than issue bonds and raise taxes like the Union did. The “March to the Sea” proved to theSoutherners that the Confederate military did not have the power to protect its people in a case of war, thus giving the Northerners the victory in the Civil War. Shelby FooteShelby Foote was a renowned historian known for his work and knowledge of the Civil War. He wrote The Civil War: A Narrativethat contained three volumes and 2,934 pages. In 1990, Shelby Foote stated the following:
CIVIL WAR3Any understanding of this nation has to be based and I mean really based, on an understanding of the Civil War. I believed that firmly. It defined us. The Revolution did what it did. Our involvement with the European wars, beginning with the First World War, did what it did. But the Civil War defined us, what we are, and it opened to us what we became, good and bad things. And it is very necessary, if you are going to understand the American character in the twentieth century, to learn about this enormous catastrophe of the nineteenth century. It was the crossroads of our being, and it was a hell of a crossroad (Burns, K. & Burns, R. , 1990).