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Essay on The Civil War

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The Civil War

During both the civil war and civil war reconstruction time periods, there were many changes going on in the Union. The Emancipation Proclamation, as well as legislation such as the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments, was causing a new awakening of democracy; while the renouncing of secession by the South marked a definite triumph for Nationalism. As well, the government was involved in altercations of its own. During reconstruction, the legislative and executive branches eventually came to blows over the use of power. The nation was being altered by forces which caused, and later repaired, a broken Union.

The first of these "forces", was the expansion of democracy. As early as 1862, Lincoln was
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The government of the United States was coming closer to being a government by all of the people, and not just whites. Civil war reconstruction offered more than just extended democracy, however. It was also a time of national unification.

One of the major boosts to United States nationalism, began with the simple Union victory over the confederacy. Secession was unconstitutional according to those who supported the Union. By defeating the confederacy, the Union had only confirmed that fact. As well, the radical Republican reconstruction plan called for an official renunciation of secession, before states could be readmitted to the Union. If secession from the Union was now illegal, then Daniel Webster's theory of the Constitution being a people's government, and not a compact of states had to be true. "The Constitution . . . [begins] with the words 'We the people,' and it was the people, not the states, who . . . created it," Webster claimed in his nationalist theory of the Constitution. The Union became more united than ever before, because now it truly was a Union, ". . . now and forever, one and inseparable." There were
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