US Hist. to 1876
Was the Civil War worth it?
I believe that the civil war was worth it. Even though a lot of negative consequences came out of it, the positive outweighed the negative. The largest cause of the war was slavery. The North and South had contained their differences over slavery for sixty years after the Constitutional Convention. Compromise in 1787 had resolved the questions of slave trade and how to count slaves for congressional representation. The Compromise of 1850 was the last attempt to keep slavery out of politics, but the compromise only delayed more serious conflict. Lincoln’s election of 1860 was possibly the greatest sectional divider. The American nation, he said, was in a crisis and building toward a worse one. “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free,” Lincoln said he did not expect the Union to be dissolved or the house to fall but rather that it will become all one thing or all the other. He believed in white superiority, opposed granting specific equal civil rights to free blacks and said that differences between whites and blacks would forever forbid the two races from living together on terms of social and political equality, colonization was the best solution. He also believed that blacks were entitled to the natural rights in the Declaration of Independence. These statements enraged differing ideas of slavery and the rights of blacks. John Brown, unlike Lincoln was prepared to act decisively against slavery. In October 1859 he and a band of 22 men attacked a federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. He had hoped to provoke a general uprising of slaves throughout the upper South or at least provide arms for slaves to make their way to freedom. Federal troops overcame him and half his men died and he was captured and later hanged. His daring raid and his dignified behavior during trial and a speedy execution unleashed powerful passions. On...
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