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The question of who was right during the american civil war

Milestones

Before the Civil War the United States experienced a whole generation of nearly unremitting political crisis. Underlying the problem was the fact that America in the early 19th century had been a country, not a nation.

The major… Prelude to war The secession of the Southern states in chronological order, South CarolinaMississippiFloridaAlabamaGeorgiaLouisianaTexasVirginiaArkansasTennesseeand North Carolina in 1860—61 and the ensuing outbreak of armed hostilities were the culmination of decades of growing sectional friction over slavery. Between 1815 and 1861 the economy of the Northern states was rapidly modernizing and diversifying. Although agriculture—mostly smaller farms that relied on free labour—remained the dominant sector in the North, industrialization had taken root there.

  1. That was the Confederacy, which felt compelled to establish Mississippi River forts and establish camps within the state to repel any attempted Union move south. When Grant went east his friend and subordinate, William Tecumseh Sherman , took command of the armies of the Tennessee and the Cumberland at Chattanooga.
  2. On September 10 a Union victory at Carnifax Ferry in the Big Kanawha Valley of West Virginia virtually ended Confederate control in most of the western counties, although there would be raids and guerrilla warfare there. The Union commander, Nathaniel Lyon, was killed, the first Federal general to die in action during the war.
  3. Robert Anderson surrendered his command of about 85 soldiers to some 5,500 besieging Confederate troops under P. Lincoln died the next morning, the first American president to be assassinated.
  4. Lasting less than half an hour, the affair would barely qualify as a skirmish later in the war, but the Union victory there and subsequent ones in the region elevated the reputation of Major General George B. Capturing the town but failing to take the high ground around it, Lee assailed the Union flanks the next day.
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Moreover, Northerners had invested heavily in an expansive and varied transportation system that included canals, roads, steamboats, and railroads; in financial industries such as banking and insurance; and in a large communications network that featured inexpensive, widely available newspapers, magazines, and books, along with the telegraph.

By contrast, the Southern economy was based principally on large farms plantations that produced commercial crops such as cotton and that relied on slaves as the main labour force. Rather than invest in factories or railroads as Northerners had done, Southerners invested their money in slaves—even more than in land; by 1860, 84 percent of the capital invested in manufacturing was invested in the free nonslaveholding states.

Yet, to Southerners, as late as 1860, this appeared to be a sound business decision. By 1860 the per capita wealth of Southern whites was twice that of Northerners, and three-fifths of the wealthiest individuals in the country were Southerners.

The Civil War

The extension of slavery into new territories and states had been an issue as far back as the Northwest Ordinance of 1784. When the slave territory of Missouri sought statehood in 1818, Congress debated for two years before arriving upon the Missouri Compromise of 1820. The end of the Mexican-American War in 1848 and the roughly 500,000 square miles 1. More and more Northerners, driven by a sense of morality or an interest in protecting free labour, came to believe, in the 1850s, that bondage needed to be eradicated.

  1. Two massacres marked 1863.
  2. Neither, however, was long lived.
  3. The Western Theater saw only minor skirmishing. If they could inflict enough losses on their Northern opponents, they might win at the ballot box what they could not on the field of battle.
  4. Southerners thought Northerners too weak and cowardly to fight.

White Southerners feared that limiting the expansion of slavery would consign the institution to certain death. Over the course of the decade, the two sides became increasingly polarized and politicians less able to contain the dispute through compromise. When Abraham Lincolnthe candidate of the explicitly antislavery Republican Partywon the 1860 presidential electionseven Southern states South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas carried out their threat and seceded, organizing as the Confederate States of America.

Library of Congress, Washington, D.

American Civil War

Curiously, this first encounter of what would be the bloodiest war in the history of the United States claimed no victims. After a 34-hour bombardment, Maj. Robert Anderson surrendered his command of about 85 soldiers to some 5,500 besieging Confederate troops under P. He proclaimed a naval blockade of the Confederate states, although he insisted that they did not legally constitute a sovereign country but were instead states in rebellion.

Union army volunteer, photograph by Mathew Brady, 1861.