Friday, March 28, 2008

The Civil War:(The Crisis of War)

The Civil War:(The Crisis of War)

Why did the Civil War occur? The Civil War was a crisis of growth. In less than three quarters of a century, thirteen old British colonies created a nation with a powerful economy.

The young U.S profited from their colonial past as well as the land which procured immense amount of resources and possibilities. The history of the U.S from 1789 to 1865 showed problems of men and resources and the economic boom will increase differences inside the different parts of the Union. The civil war could have been avoided, because the American nation gradually took conscience of itself, and nationalism had been resisted by the second war of independence.

The difficulty of the American political system: (federal and republican system) will bring with itself the problem of union and liberty. The anti federalists also known as republicans blame the government for its attachment to Europe and criticised the reinforcement of the federal power. Another source of problem is the economic differences; near 1860 two America appeared: The North, a country with much activities, and the South, a country of slavery plantations, attached to the past.

These differences and divergences reflect on the political view of a nation.

However, this new country could have avoided the Civil War, because at the beginning, pioneering' spirit was very positive; it had brought down class barriers. Another advantage of that time was to occupy lands or gain possession of it at low prices, to access to all the jobs. Taxes were not high. The U.S had the chance to know a great increase of their population (In 1860 the population is 8 times greater than the one of 1790). Food is easy to find, and the jobs are abundant. The lack and the high price of the labour, partly explain the maintenance of slavery, and made immigration necessary. On the economic point of view, independence had made the situation better because the old colonies stayed dependent upon Europe and mainly England, but in fact, the chances and advantages of the Americans were considerably high: virgin land with tremendous amount of resources.

All kinds of transports developed (roads, canals,) for example: the canal EriƩ built up in 1825 permitted to reduce 90% the price of transportation of the ton of their merchandise between Buffalo and New York. The same year, steam boats enabled to transport a better market at a better price. In 1830, the way up of the Mississippi, from New Orleans to Luisville, did not necessitate 4 months anymore, but only 8 days. Also the railroads were developed and with the telegraph, the railroads consolidated the political unity of the Union.

The development of this new country is astonishing: with the republicans another good point is achieved: the decrease of the taxes, and the adoption of the universal suffrage (everybody is allowed to vote).

When the nationalism spirit succeed against the English, literature will reflect the American power but will not be strong enough to exceed the difficulties between the North and the South. The differences of interests were the following: the South reproached to the North the customs tariffs, the monetary political. The North considered the economy of the South as out of date, a dead weight which slowed down the course of history; the incompatibility of temperament and a common hate. The reasons of this divorce are of course as well the problem of slavery. For the South, slavery was essential for their life style: slaves do not cost anything except the food and the surveillance. The North considered slavery as a shameful act. The expansion to the West made worse the conflict between the North and the South on the problem if the new States added in the Union will become states with or without slaves starting in 1850. The abolitionists, inspired by the Quakers made a huge propaganda which increased the number of the abolitionists. Also, writers like Beecher-Stowe's book "Uncle Tom's Cabin" motivated many readers. The Dread Scott's affair as well as John Brown's affair stirred up the public opinion on both sides. In 1860 Abraham Lincoln is elected president and will face opposition with the divided nation. For the South this election is a declaration of war, he secedes and engages the hostility. The Civil War happened as a result of a divorce. And this divorce could have been avoided. The South did not seem to weight a lot in front of the North agricultural and industrial made of 22 millions habitants. But the South had professionals officers, and the war lasted for years with more than 100 battles and 600 000 killed. The Southerners felt anger which divided the South from the North for years. The Civil War brought so many ruins, but the Union was saved, and the thirteen amendment of the Constitution abolished slavery.



blogger templates 3 columns | Make Money Online