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Andre Reis Mr.

Krupski American History 1

1.) By the end of the War of 1812, America (The Union) had become a world superpower, with wealth, healthy farmland, a good economy, and a stable government. When it was evident that the US was starting to bicker between its own parties, certain measures were immediately put into effect. Unfortunately, every conclusion that was made, and every compromise suggested was turned down by one of the two sides. It seemed as though anything that would benefit the North would damage the South, and vice-versa. Both sides wanted more money, and it seemed that if one side received more, the other side would lose its money, so both sides just continued to dispute and grow farther apart. One of the first compromises whose passage was attempted was the Kansas-Nebraska Act proposed by Stephen Douglas; which stated that the states would now have the right to decide for themselves whether or not they want to be slave states through Popular Sovereignty. This eventually led to the phenomenon known as Bleeding Kansas when the Abolitionists and slave owners literally beat each other to a pulp after encounters during protests. Other actions that the government took were the fugitive slave act (which made people report Negroes who they suspected of being escaped slaves), and the Compromise of 1850. This compromise would let Utah and New Mexico decide whether they were free states or slave sates, and would establish California as a free state. In the long run it seemed as though no matter what the government did and no matter what measures they took, one side always seemed to lose money or perks in the process. The fact that a unanimous conclusion could never be reached reinforces the idea that nothing couldve prevented the Civil War from breaking out. It was a war that somehow in the end, brought us all closer together. Before the Civil War, the states were all separate. People used to say "The United States are." Wasn't until the war ended, people started saying "The United States is." Under Lincoln, we became one nation. -Ben Gates, National Treasure 2

2.) The Civil War began for many different reasons, most of them based on the idea of slavery. The North wanted a strong federal government, while the Southerners believed in the power of states individual rights. The Norths economy was based mostly on their factories and the goods that they produced, while in the South, plantation owners would grow crops (i.e. cotton) and sell them to the North. At first, the Southerners began growing discontent with the fact that they would sell their goods to the North, their goods would be processed and sold, but they would receive no compensation or percentage of the profit. Then began the debates over slavery. The North did not believe in slavery, while the South relied on slavery for the production and growth of their crops. At the time, the territories that had not yet become states were beginning the

process of admittance into the Union. The South wanted these new states to become slave states so that escaping slaves could not seek refuge in one of the free territories/states, but the North refused this proposition; instead it was proposed that states should vote whether or not they want to be free states or slave states (States Rights). In 1850 a compromise was put forward by Henry Clay and Stephen Douglas(rightfully named the compromise of 1850); according to this, California would be admitted as a free state, Texas would drop some of its claim, the slave trade was to be eliminated, and the fugitive slave act (the law that made civilians report people they believed to be escaped slaves) was reinforced. To top it all off, the presidential election of 1860 between Abraham Lincoln and John C. Breckinridge outraged the South. According to the popular vote, every single one of the southern states voted against Abraham Lincoln, and yet he still won. This was the last straw. South Carolina immediately succeeded from the Union in December 1860, and the other Southern states soon followed. This split between the Union (North) and the newly formed Confederate States of America (South) are what ultimately lead to the bloodiest war in American History.

3.) Abraham Lincoln was a strong political leader; he was adored by the people, extremely intelligent, and respected by his subordinates. He was a Republican, which would now be the Democratic Party, and he was a strong believer in anti-slavery. The southerners saw him as a face of the North and had decided that if he was elected president, he would stop at nothing until he put an end to slavery once and for all. Breckinridge, on the other hand was a Democrat, which would now be the Republican Party, and he supported the South (he later became a Major General for the Confederate Army). The southerners, knowing that Abraham Lincolns election would mean the end of their way of life, unanimously voted against him. Oddly enough, even though every single one of the southern states voted against Lincoln, he still became president. This angered a lot of southern plantation owners and politicians, and almost immediately led to the succession of South Carolina, and effectively, the start of the Civil War. Also, on January 1st 1863, during the war, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. What it did was immediately free the slaves in 10 rebelling states, and threatened to free the rest of the slaves in the states that refused to come back to the Union. The fact that the war was now not only a war to try to reunite the nation, but also a war directly abolishing slavery and attacking the southern way of life, only farther angered the South. The war drew on until the Confederates finally surrendered when General Lee and Grant met at the Appomattox Courthouse on April 7th 1865. It was a shame that Abraham Lincoln could not have lived to see the end of the war.

5.) African Americans played a surprisingly large role in the course of the civil war. Over 180,000 African Americans served in the Union Army, and countless more in the Navy. Many slaves would run from their masters and enlist in the Union Military themselves. Also, since according to Lincolns Second Confiscation Act and the Militia Act passed in 1862, any property taken over during war automatically

goes to the victor, and since slaves were considered property, Union soldiers would come in, blockade a plantation, claim it, free the slaves, and then offer them food and shelter if they joined the Union Military. Many escaped Negroes, inspired by the fact that they were working together with the Union for a common goal, went back to help their families and friends escape. This eventually reached its climax in 1863, when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. By the end of the war and the ratification of the 13th amendment on December 18th 1865, over 500,000 slaves had escaped to the North. At first, white generals and commanders believed that Negro soldiers would not have the courage and ability to fight in the war alongside their white counterpart, but the soldiers managed to prove themselves on various occasions. In October 1862, a unit of black soldiers repelled an attacking Confederate force in the battle of Island Mound, Missouri, and then again on May 27th 1863 during the battle of Port Hudson Louisiana.

6.) The American Civil war was the bloodiest and most devastating battle in history with over 600,000 total casualties. Both sides, due to their varied military strategies, had a chance of emerging victorious. For starters, the north had several advantages over the south; for example, due to the Norths vast system of railroads, they could get supplies much faster. They also had a more firmly established government, and a better economy than the South. The South, conversely, had the upper hand in actual military training. They had strong and experienced generals and commanders who, especially in the beginning, took the lead in the war by putting their foot down and beating off the North until their first loss at Fort Donelson. The North planned to block all major rivers and effectively break the South in two by dividing it across the Mississippi; which, in turn, would weaken the South due to how heavily they relied on the water. The South on the other hand was very familiar with their land, so theyd flank the enemy and tire them out. The North, while relying mostly on offense, tried to out-shoot their opponent, while the South drove a war of attrition, and let the wear-and-tear of battle slowly do their work for them.