The American Civil War Of 1861

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The American Civil War of 1861 to 1865 was a battle between the Union Party, led by Abraham Lincoln, and the Confederacy, led by Jefferson Davis and was described as ‘cruelty’ by one William Tecumseh Sherman. It can be argued whether slavery was the real root cause of the carnage that caused the loss of over 620,000 military personnel and a speculated 400,000 who were captured or deemed missing. The Unionist historian George Bancroft blamed slavery ‘the uprising of the irresistible spirit of the people in behalf of the law and order and liberty,’ and would therefore dispute that slavery was the root cause of the American Civil War, however, Progressive historians such as Mary and Charles Bead would have claimed that the War was caused by the economic struggle between the industrial North and the agricultural South. One cause of the American Civil War can be argued to be the economy, this is due to the division between the North and South in economic capital, labour and expansion. The southern states’ income was based on the earnings of agricultural work, from plantations and such which focused on the production of tobacco, initially in Virginia, rice and later cotton. For such work, slaves were the preferred method of labour as they held important knowledge of how to herd cattle and the cultivation of products such as rice. The demand for slaves increased in 1793 with Eli Whitney’s invention of the Cotton Gin, which separated the seeds and fibre of the cotton more
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