18 May 2018
The U.S. Civil War: Slavery’s Influence and Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation
The U.S. Civil War, which occurred from 1861 to 1865, was deemed to be the bloodiest war in American history. It was between the United States and the Confederate States, which was comprised of the 11 Southern states that had seceded from them. When it comes to this war, the moral issue of slavery was the primary cause of it. However, it was certain political and social issues, which concerned slavery, that had really provoked it to arise.
One of the main issues that prompted the U.S. Civil War to begin was the Missouri Compromise. In 1820, Missouri had aspired to become a state. At the time, this was deemed to be an issue because if it joined, then the Congressional majority would have gone to the slave states within the U.S. Thus, an acrimonious debate within the nation was prompted. However, Congress eventually attained a succession of consensuses, which was later referred to as the name it has now. Due to this compromise, not only was Missouri admitted as a slave state, but Maine was also admitted as a free state. This thus perpetuated the equilibrium of slave and free states. In addition to balancing the two kinds of states, a line was also delineated through the Western Territories along the 36’30 parallel. Because of this, it sundered the North as free states and the South as slave states.
Another issue that caused the U.S. Civil War to occur was Nat Turner’s Rebellion. In August of 1831, Nat Turner, a slave, encouraged a revolt that proliferated throughout the plantations of southern Virginia. During his revolt, he and approximately 70 other groups killed about 60 white individuals. However, after just two days, the militia was able to subdue the rebellion. Because of their actions, Turner and about 54 other slaves were adjudicated and legally condemned. Approximately 200 other individuals were illegally executed by crowds as well. As a result of all that occurred due to this rebellion, the lawmakers of Virginia interdicted education and strictly restricted the right to assemble for all African Americans, regardless of whether or not they were free men or slaves.
In addition to Nat Turner’s Rebellion, the Compromise of 1850 was another issue that caused the war. After arguments arose due to the Wilmot Proviso, Senator Henry Clay and Senator Stephen Douglas proposed this particular compromise with the intentions to rectify and calm the tension between the North and the South. However, it did the exact opposite of that. Not only did the compromise avert the geographical growth of slavery, but it also secured the Fugitive Slave Act. This act basically forced those within the North to seize and return any runaway slaves back to those within the South. By constraining the Northerners to take part in this, the Compromise of 1850 only achieved in further inducing the idea of dividing the nation into two separate groups.
Along with the Compromise of 1850, the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin was also deemed to be one of the primary causes of the U.S. Civil War. When this particular book, which was written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was published, it provided Americans with a description on the experiences of slaves. Once it was read by those within the North, many of them were inspired to become rigorous abolitionists. The Southerners, on the other hand, had a different reaction. Unlike the Northerners, those within the South became furious and claimed that the book inaccurately depicted slavery. As a result, not only did it accomplish in bringing the issue of slavery to realization for many individuals, but it also broadened the disunity of the North and South.
When it comes to the war, Abraham Lincoln’s election was definitely one of its primary causes. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th President of the United States of America. While he may not have appeared on the ballots of 10 Southern states, he still won due to a mandate in the Electoral College. However, since he ran in the Republican Party, those within the South had feared that his goal, which was to only impede the spread of slavery at the time, was actually to abolish slavery completely. As a result, on December 20, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the U.S. Eventually, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia left as well, which thus led to the creation of the Confederacy.
After the 11 Southern states had officially seceded from the Union and proclaimed themselves to be a part of the Confederate States of America, President Abraham Lincoln promulgated the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which specifically disclosed that if the Southern states refused to put an end to their insurrection against the U.S., then the final and irrefutable Emancipation Proclamation would be effectuated. When they repudiated to capitulate and become subjugated, it was then that Lincoln propagated the proclamation, which officially eradicated the subjugation of the African Americans that were within the South. Because of this particular executive order, he later became known as the Great Emancipator.
While many individuals controverted whether or not his proclamation had merited Abraham Lincoln such a profound title, many of its outcomes expounded otherwise. For example, five months after the decree had been issued, the War Department of the U.S. had imposed the inception of the U.S. Colored Troops. Because of this, over 200,000 African Americans were inspired to succor the Union and aid the other American soldiers in their fight against those that were within the South. Lincoln’s proclamation had also altered what was deemed to be the primary aspiration of the war. Initially, the Northerners’ main intention had been to only conserve the Union. However, the issuance of the proclamation had stimulated the freedom of slaves to become a major objective for them as well. In addition to this, it also enticed the passing of the 13th Amendment. As a result, this equipped America’s citizens to ultimately endorse and acknowledge the abolition for all African American slaves, which not only included those that were within the South, but for those that were within the North as well.
The U.S. Civil War was a war that will incessantly be a part of American history. While slavery can be seen as primary cause of it, it was really certain political and social affairs and issues, which had to do with slavery, that induced the North and the South’s opposition of one another and eventually led to the war that transpired amongst them. While Congress may have strived to preserve the unification of the U.S. through certain actions, such as the establishing of the Missouri Compromise, they seemed to only exacerbate the disaffiliation of the Northern and Southern states. Therefore, the war between the North and the South was inevitable and bound to happen due to their opposing views. In the end, the U.S. Civil War took approximately four years to transpire and unfortunately resulted in the loss of approximately 620,000 lives. However, those within the North were able to win the war and slavery was finally abolished, which ultimately led to the equality and justness of all of the Americans within the U.S. today.?
“10 Facts: The Emancipation Proclamation.” American Battlefield Trust, 2018, www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/10-facts-emancipation-proclamation. Accessed 16 May 2018.
“Causes of the Civil War.” HistoryNet, 2018, www.historynet.com/causes-of-the-civil-war. Accessed 15 May 2018.
Rhodes, Henry A. “Lincoln, the Great Emancipator?” Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, 2018, teachersinstitute.yale.edu/curriculum/units/1985/5/85.05.03.x.html. Accessed 16 May 2018.
“The Immediate Effects of the Emancipation.” Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 2018, hsp.org/education/unit-plans/the-immediate-effects-of-the-emancipation-proclamation. Accessed 17 May 2018.
“Trigger Events of the Civil War.” American Battlefield Trust, 2018, www.civilwar.org/learn/ articles/trigger-events-civil-war. Accessed 17 May 2018.