The Fluidity of the American Civil War

6740 WordsSep 14, 201527 Pages
The American Civil War, widely known in the United States as simply the Civil War as well as other sectional names, was a civil war fought from 1861 to 1865 to determine the survival of the Union or independence for the Confederacy. Among the 34 states in January 1861, seven Southern slave states individually declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America. The Confederacy, often simply called the South, grew to include eleven states, and although they claimed thirteen states and additional western territories, the Confederacy was never diplomatically recognized by a foreign country. The states that remained loyal and did not declare secession were known as the Union or the North. The war had…show more content…
Slavery was the central source of escalating political tension in the 1850s. The Republican Party was determined to prevent any spread of slavery, and many Southern leaders had threatened secession if the Republican candidate, Lincoln, won the 1860 election. After Lincoln had won without carrying a single Southern state, many Southern whites felt that disunion had become their only option, because they thought that they were losing representation, which would hamper their ability to promote pro-slavery acts and policies. Root causes Slavery. Contemporary actors, the Union and Confederate leadership and fighting soldiers on both sides believed that slavery caused the Civil War. Union men mainly believed the war was to emancipate the slaves. Confederates fought to protect southern society, and slavery as an integral part of it. From the anti-slavery perspective, the issue was primarily about whether the system of slavery was an anachronistic evil that was incompatible with Republicanism in the United States. The strategy of the anti-slavery forces was containment — to stop the expansion and thus put slavery on a path to gradual extinction. The slave-holding interests in the South denounced this strategy as infringing upon their Constitutional rights. Southern whites believed that the emancipation of slaves would destroy the South's economy because of the alleged laziness of blacks under free labor. Slavery was illegal in the
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