Civil War, Edward L. Ayers

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In this paper, “The American Civil War, Emancipation, and Reconstruction on the World Stage” the author, Edward L. Ayers, is analyzing the events that unfolded and led up to the Civil War so we can clearly see how one thing lead to another. However, at the time they occurred it was not so easy to see. Ayers view on this subject is that this war changed the face of the world. Everything that the war had brought about with the end of slavery being the most prominent also produced other outcomes just as world changing. The use of warfare would be reinvented and the political and economic outcomes all helped set a new world stage. As children are taught in grade school, the Civil War happened because the North wanted to outlaw slavery, and the South did not. The newly elected Republican Party had thwarted the spread of slavery; however, the South was still very dependent on it due to their labor intensive crops. The United States was not united, but rather a divided country. The 1860 Presidential election, in which Lincoln won, triggered the start of states seceding. By the time Lincoln took office in March of 1861 seven states had seceded from the union (). The eyes of the world were on America as the Civil War was played out; both sides, the North and South, appealed to the world. In the North, Lincoln says that this “embraces more than the date of these United States. It presents to the whole family of man, the question, whether a constitutional republic or democracy . . . can, or cannot maintain its territorial integrity” (Lincoln). The Struggle, was for “a vast future,” (Lincoln) a struggle to give all men “a fair chance in the race of life” (Lincoln). Abraham Lincoln made the point, to give all men “a fair chance in the race of life” (Lincoln) that the Civil War matters in one way or another to all people and represented the viewpoint of the North. The South expressed their position to have the right to determine their own destiny. America being still a...
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