The American Civil War_ The Significance of Strong Leaders.pdf

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Gabriel Fowler Southern New Hampshire University United States History I Professor Andrea Barry October 2018 The American Civil War: The Significance of Strong Leaders The art of war is, in its most rudimentary form, simple. Decide upon an enemy, discover where your enemy is, strike at them as often and as decisively as possible, and above all do not allow them to take a breath. When described that way, the business of winning a war is seemingly easy. Rather, warfare is an incredibly complex art that few are able to practice and none are able to perfect. General Ulysses S. Grant may be the closest realization of a military individual who has uncovered the secret to warfare. Assuming complete command of the Union’s entire army in early 1864, the general then led the charge that toppled the Confederacy in just over a year. The Union did have many advantages over the Seceded Southern States from the start, most notably that of the North’s aptitude to produce modernized weaponry, an influx of soldiers, and the ability to keep those enlisted well-fed and clothed. Although many factors are involved in the winning a war, the integral components in the case of the American Civil War were not entirely realized until formidable leaders took what the Union Army and transformed it into the American War Machine. Towards the middle of the 19th Century, the economies of the majority of northern states began to move away from a farming society to an industry-led culture. Far more people in the North started to work and live in large cities such as New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. The Southern States that were part of the United States of America (USA), however, continued to maintain an economy nearly solely based of farming, run on slave labor. So, while the North no
longer required slaves, the South continued to rely heavily upon slaves to keep both their way of life and economy from collapsing. As the 1850’s came to a close, the concept of states' rights and slave ownership gained further attention. The South used the argument that each state in the Union had the indvisable right to secede and leave the United States of America at will. This ideology was fueled by the concept that the Constitution was an agreement among each individual state and not a binding law. The Northern states did not share the same belief and rejected the notion. These subjects were not new - they were common topics of discussion for both Congress as well as the common people of the United States. Considering that the Constitution was initially written in 1787, there were constant disagreements and arguments regarding the amount of power the states should have versus how much control the federal government ought to obtain. At the heart of the divide between the United States was slavery. As previously stated, The South relied on slavery for labor to work the fields and drive their economy. Meanwhile, the belief that slavery was wrong and evil began to grow in popularity in the North. The people at the head of this movement were often called abolitionists. Abolitionists such as John Brown, Frederick

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