Civil War: Repressible or Irrepressible?

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It is often said that hindsight is 20/20 vision, but some major historical events are surrounded by controversy, one of which is the Civil War: was it repressible or irrepressible? It was irrepressible because the north and south were too culturally different for a compromise to work. The south believed slavery was an essential part of their economy and often advocated for strong state’s rights. The north was steadily industrializing with the increasing textile mills and growing urban population as well as beginning to see the horrors of slavery. The limits of the fragilely strung together Union were tested in the expansion westward and eventually some southern states began to secede. Compromises such as the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas Nebraska Act only held off the conflict, and many believe the final straw that broke the back of the Union was Lincoln’s election and the dealings of Fort Sumter. Once tensions built up between the north and the south enough to where fighting broke out there was no going back to a peaceful time. Before then, however, the conflict could have possibly been kept completely political. In 1833, Britain emancipated 800 thousand black slaves from the West Indies and effectively ended slavery in that section of the British Empire. Although not everyone was happy, the act accomplished its job without a single shot being fired. The fact that Britain, the “motherland”, was able to achieve the same goal without any of its own blood being shed is a sobering lesson to America. Perhaps the democratic essence of the country isn’t always superior in practice to the government of Great Britain. The only way following in the footsteps of our distant partner could have repressed the Civil War, however, was if our country had given up its sacred democratic regime and the federal government had ruled with an iron fist over the American people. The unhappiness between the regions eventually comes down to the cultural differences between the north...
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