Free Essay in American History: The Advertised Aims of the American Civil War

Published: 2022-10-24
Free Essay in American History: The Advertised Aims of the American Civil War
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  American Civil War American history
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1134 words
10 min read

The American Civil War battled in 1861-1865 was as a result of differences which occurred between the Southern and Northern states of American despite sharing a similar common history. The North was an industrialized state which did not tolerate slavery as a portion of the fabric of American society. Additionally, political power positioned in Washington had plans to end slavery in the entire Union. On the other hand, the South was agrarian with tobacco and cotton as their backbone for their economic strength hence relied significantly on slavery. Their region depended on Western Europe for exports markets. The civil war started on April 12, 1861, after the election of Abraham Lincoln to the office and ended on May 9, 1865. Nevertheless, the termination of the American Civil war was ended at the expense of loss of life of approximately 750,000 individuals with the Union forces as the winners. It left the Sothern state in economic decay, social disorder, and political upheaval. The American Civil war consequences led to the reconstruction from 1865 to 1877. It comprised of three fundamental initiatives which included enactment of liberal legislation which favored the rights of freed slaves, the transformation of the South, and restoration of the Union. Therefore, in the context of the realities of reconstruction, the advertised aims for the initiation of the American Civil War can be seen. Therefore, while the Northerners aimed at ending slavery and return the Southern state to the Union, the Southerners aimed to gain political independence and political and financial influence of cotton.

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The objective to end slavery by the mid-19th century had become the main root of the conflict between the Northern slave free states and the Southern Slave States. This is because, in the north, slavery was illegal and was outlawed towards the end of the 18th century and the onset of the 19th century. Nonetheless, the war extensively intertwined the southern states economy. Additionally, towards the start of the American Civil War, approximately four million African slaves had been subjected to slavery in the South. Thus, the Southern Whites per capita income had risen almost twice that of the Northern state. Also, a big percentage of the wealthiest people in the Union, originated from the South since they had broadly invested in slavery. Conversely, the Northerners were entrepreneurs and industrial despite having a sensibly poor working population. The social and political environment in the Northern had turned every individual against slavery. Therefore, to solve the subject of slavery across the Union which was the main aim of the Northern states, a fight was inevitable.

The secession of the Southern states from the Union was a major contributor of the American Civil War, but for the Northerners, a vital aim to engage in the battle was to bring Southerners back to the union. The election and inauguration of Abraham Lincoln into office drove the South Carolina state to recall for a state convention that balloted solidly in favor of secession. This made other cotton states such as Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi to follow this suit that started at the beginning of 1861. Ultimately, all the Southern states settled at an agreement to form their federal government which they termed as the Confederate States of America. However, after its spell on the Fort Sumter, Abraham Lincoln persuaded all the Northern states to merge forces and recapture federal properties. Nonetheless, Tennessee's, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Virginia were reluctant to send their soldiers against the Southerners. They, however, decided to secede and be part of the Confederates. Lincoln in his speech during his inauguration termed such secession as legally void. Nevertheless, he promised that he would utilize force to the bring the Southern states to the union which drew the objective lines for the Northern state to participate in the American Civil War.

The gain for the political and financial influence of the cotton economy which existed during the 18th and 19th century was a major aim for Southerners to engage in the American Civil War. The influence of the economics of cotton during this time was high compared to that of the oil sector. Therefore, with the success of the slave trade, the Southerners become the leading suppliers of cotton globally. The owners of the cotton plantations, with African slaves, achieved significance influence and wealth during this era and were ready to do anything to shield their interests. This initiated a disagreement between the Northerners as free slave states and Southerners who embraced slavery to reach optimum point. Additionally, France and Britain, as a major world power during the time, relied heavily on cotton sourced from most of the Southern states. Most of the Southerners upheld that France and Britain would intervene in the Civil war on their behalf. Thus, the aim to gain more political and financial power for cotton economies gave the Southern state confidence to fight and take the more resourceful and powerful Northern states.

The Southern states desire to become politically independent was also a major aim of the American Civil War. The debates and politics which concentrated on which power belonged to the federal states and those belonging to the sovereign states was common in America. Furthermore, this was the primary motive to the formation of the initial political parties in the United States. The parties included the Federalists that held the centralized form of national government and the Democratic-Republican party preferential for states' rights. Slavery was a significant component in the federal government and state tussle. The Southerners were adamant that the issue of slavery was a state subject which made them reluctant to take any federal intervention on this matter. Therefore, to continue with slavery, the Southerners aimed to achieve political independence over this issue from the Northern state hence participation in the Civil War was inevitable.


It is evident that the aim to participate in the American Civil War for both the Northern and Southern states have their roots for the context of realities of Reconstruction although it took place after the battle. The War came as a result of differing beliefs held by individual nations although they had a similar American history. The Northern was a slave free state which prohibited slavery and encouraged entrepreneurship and industrialization hence it had the aim to end the issue of slaves and bring the Southern back to the Union. The Southern state had separated due to differing objectives between the two states. The Southerners were an agrarian state which supported slavery as a source of cheap labor in their cotton plantations hence they aimed to gain political independence and influence of cotton economy that existed during that era. Therefore, to avoid the Civil War, the Northern and the Southern state should have had similar aims to ensure they moved in the same direction since they shared common American history.

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