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NOTES FOR ESSAY ON CIVIL WAR HIST-255: Historical Research and Applied Methods July 22, 2019
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Blankenship Introduction Understanding the American Civil War takes more than studying slavery, it is understanding the contributing factors and the different perspectives from the people north and the people of the south. Let’s look at the events occurring before the war erupted. Industrialization was growing in the north. The southern economy still revolved around farming. This means that slaves were not needed in the north because of industrialization, however the south depended on slave labor to maintain the farmlands. Per the Constitution, each state is entitled to their rights and freedoms; however, on more than one occasion, the federal government intruded on those rights. Those freedoms, rights, and powers felt threatened by the federal government. A concern of a powerful centralized government grew. Some states, mainly southern states, felt the central government was aiming to gain more control and take more away from the states. To add to the growing threat of a powerful centralized government, the westward expansion was shuffling powers between states and the government which made the already uneasy south start to pay more attention. Over time, the northerners began to frown upon slavery. Some even deemed slavery as evil. 1 A group of people known as the abolitionists sought to make slavery illegal in the United States. Slavery became a very controversial topic. Kansas was the first state to house documented violence over the topic. To add to these boiling tensions (the south feeling threatened and north wanting to take away slavery), the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, was elected. His clear perspective on slavery was displayed in the presidential debates. He was anti-slavery which added turmoil with the south. After Lincoln’s election, South Carolina took a stance and became the first state to withdraw themselves from the United States. Eleven 1 “Slavery.” 2018. Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. January 1; - com.lopes.idm.oclc.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=funk&AN=sl126900&site=eds-live&scope=site.
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Blankenship more states followed. Lincoln opposed the secession. He did not feel that the states could and should leave the Union especially since the Constitution and its systems helped form the nation with those states included. Unfortunately, the tensions escalated and Fort Sumter’s eviction process by General Beauregard made way for the American Civil War. It is important to understand the different ways of life, the different perspectives, the states’ feelings, and President Lincoln’s intentions were contributing factors to the America Civil War, not just slavery, because it does matter, no matter who you ask or where they are from. The word slavery is mentioned a lot because of the north’s stance; however, the south’s stance was they felt threatened by the federal governments growing power, therefore, slavery is not the only cause for the American Civil War.
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