The Civil War

Essay by nycxswtiesCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2002

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To the Americans, the Civil War experience was a whole new definition for war. Its existence has been a defining event in the American history. Unlike the other wars, where it was the Americans fought for their countries' freedom with other countries or assisted other countries in need. The Civil War was the one and only war that Americans had with themselves. It was truly "a brothers' war" where Americans fight against Americans: North against South. The primary reason, which caused the Civil War, was slavery. Northern states supported the idea of becoming industrialized and free slaves, while Southerners remained living on agricultural life and depended their economy on slavery. Additionally, the expansion and the breakdown between the two political parties were also the main influences, which caused the Civil War to occur.

The institution of slavery was introduced into North America in the early colonial times. According to the American Record, Africans were first purchased as servants in 1619, only a dozen years after Jamestown was settled.

The use of slavery quickly expanded and became the center and the main support of the economy. Slavery could be found in each of the thirteen states and each region had a predominantly agricultural economy. The Northern states soon developed themselves and became more industrialized. They either abolished the slavery system or adopted a gradual emancipation plan where they worked on machines. However, "large-scale commercial agriculture" was still the way of life in the South and slaves were still the "main work force on many plantations" (Graebner, Richards, Chpt 4). At this point, the belief on whether slavery should be protected or abolished had become a disagreement between the two parts of the country. With the additional pressure from the North, Southern leaders repeatedly complained "the North had used its power over...