Civil War was not about Slavery

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Some people that experienced the Civil War and some who did not experience it like to say that the Civil War was not about slavery, but instead about defending rights that states had. President Lincoln even tried to offer a deal to the southern states saying if they returned to the union they could keep their slaves, but they denied his offer.

The Civil War was started when Fort Sumter was attacked by the confederates. In return to this, Lincoln had the Union states send an army of 75,000 soldiers to stop the confederates, starting the Civil War.

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Nearing the end of the Civil War, the Confederacy saw defeat in their future. During the late winter and early spring of 1865, rebel leaders were trying to convince the Confederacy to negotiate a peace settlement. John C. Breckinridge, secretary of war, urged Robert E. Lee to negotiate with the Union.

I think the Battle of Gettysburg had a big role in helping the north win the Civil war. At the beginning of this battle, the Confederates were able to push back the Federals, but the Federals regrouped and took better and higher positions on the high points surrounding the town. The second day the confederates assaulted Meade’s army pushing the Federal lines back. On the third day, both sides were heavily fighting against each other. General George Pickett sent three infantry divisions to sneak up against the Federal troops to have a surprise attack.

Little did they know the Federal troops were hiding waiting for the Confederates to attempt their surprise attack. When they were in position, the Federals open fired on the Confederates. General Lee’s plan for a winning battle turned into a failure. I also think a strategy, the Anaconda Plan, was a significant part in helping the Union win the Civil War. Written by General Winfield Scott, this plan had three devised parts. The first stated the Army of the Potomac was to defend Washington D.C.. The second part stated that they would use the Federals navy to blockade ports in the south to cut off the Confederates supply to goods and weapons.

The third part stated that the Union armies would be able to split the Confederacy by pushing south down the inland water routes. The Anaconda Plan got its name because just like the snake, the North wanted to trap and crush the southern resistance.

The trail of tears, overall, was the relocation of Cherokee Indians from the east to the west. 17,000 Cherokee Indians were forced to relocate under military authority, also known as the Indian Removal Act. The Trail of Tears was 800 miles long, forced to be walked by foot. During this relocation, around 4,000 Indians died due to cruel treatment. After the Cherokee Indians were relocated, their land was sold for cotton growing, nearly 100 million acres in total.

From a wider narrative, the Trail of Tears weakened the relationship between the natives and the settlers. From the beginning the Indians were impacted when settlers first arrived. They brought diseases and war, used and enslaved the Indians for their own personal intentions. Once again the Indians are being impacted by the Americans over land to grow cotton, and more cotton means more money. The Americans are so greedy that they force the Cherokee Indians off their ancestral grounds and force them to walk 800 miles under harsh conditions just in order to sell their land for cotton farms.

I think that the Trail of Tears was a common theme found when you look at Americans and Native Americans. I think this because the Americans were always focused on benefiting themselves that they did not care how they got there. The Trail of Tears is a great example of that as well. The United States wanted to make more money by selling cotton and the land that the Cherokee were living on was perfect for cotton growing, so they disregarded that the Cherokee didn’t agree to the Treaty of Echota and forced them to relocate anyways.

4) I think that overall, Reconstruction was a success. While there was benefits at the end of Reconstruction making it successful, I think there were a couple negative outcomes as well. I do not think that just because there were a few bad outcomes we must rule that the Reconstruction was a failure. In this world, there are always good and bad, and they follow each other, making it inevitable for the outcome of the Reconstruction to just be positive with no negative whatsoever.

For the Reconstruction being a success, a few things come to mind. First the 13th amendment was drafted, which in short words declared an end to slavery. Another success was the 14th amendment, which stated that everyone would have equal protection of the law and guaranteeing civil rights to formal slaves. The schooling system in the south also greatly improved. One other success during the Reconstruction Era was that African Americans were able to be elected into the House and Senate.

Even though there were many positive outcomes during the Reconstruction, I think there were a few failures as well. First off, a cycle of debt for farmers in the south started when they started sharecropping. Jim Crow segregation became popular, followed by the saying “separate but equal”. Black codes were also created, restricting the freedom of African Americans. Southern states created what was called poll taxes, which were designed to keep African American away from being able to vote.

I think that the Mexican-American war, the Gadsden Purchase, as well as slavery being a hot topic were events that led to the Compromise of 1850. The Mexican -American war was a victory for the United States leading to Mexico signing the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This treaty gave the United States current day Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah. The Gadsden Purchase allowed the United States to add nearly 30,000 miles purchased from Mexico. I think that these events were some that lead to the Compromise of 1850 because all this new land and how strict the free and slave states wanted to be fair would lead to a big argument over what states would be labeled free and slave.

The Compromise consisted of five parts. One of the five parts made the fugitive laws stricter. The second said that California would enter the union as a free state. The third said a boundary between Texas and New Mexico would be created to stop slavery. The fourth stopped slave trade in D.C.. The fifth gave popular sovereignty to the new territories, meaning the population could vote on whether they wanted to be a free or slave state.

I think that the Compromise of 1850 was another continuation of business. I think that because the United States was basically on trial and error until everyone was happy with the rules set in place and could live there without fighting one another, but until peace could come the government had to put laws and bills into place to try to fix one problem at a time. I do not think the Compromise of 1850 succeeded in its goal because in the end, the issue of slavery was unresolved. Northerners had to return runaway slaves due to the fugitive laws. Even though the number of free and slave states were even, the issue of slavery was still a big concern and not resolved.


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Civil War Was not About Slavery. (2021, Jul 08). Retrieved from