The United States And The Civil War

Decent Essays
The word “freedom” has always been a cornerstone of the numerous transformations of the American society. It is the notion that is found in speeches of both Republican and Democrat politicians, the idea that connected the mind of an affluent Southern plantation owner and that of a radical abolitionist. Generally, the understanding of any period in the United States history as a whole relies heavily on acquiring the knowledge of the way of life, and the patterns of thought of the American public. The meaning of freedom provides a unique insight into social models, and can be considered a crucial factor when examining the impact of the key events in the history of the United States, namely the Civil War. The three speeches by the prominent American politicians and presidents from 1850’s throughout the Civil War era will be compared and analyzed with respect to their definition of freedom in order to demonstrate the different perceptions of this concept in the 19th century American society. As the Republican Party emerged to dominate the political scene of the 1950’s, a new vision of the American North and its values started to gain increasing influence amongst the members of the Party. William Henry Seward, a senator from New York, describes and summarizes these values in his speech “The Irrepressible Conflict” that was delivered at Rochester in 1858. The conflict that he refers to is the conflict between two different social and economic systems, between slave labor and free
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