The political atmosphere during the civil war

Essay by mrballin18 March 2005

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Sectional Differences were very apparent long before the onset of the civil

war. As the nation grew, disparities between the classes grew further. Politicians started

to create parties that favored certain groups of people. The elite tried to further

themselves from the working class and control the government. The ideals between the

North and South didn't coincide. Sectional differences were bound to happen as America

started to grow.

The creation of parties was a bad idea, according to George Washington. The

Federalist and Republican parties were created and both tried to control the government.

The interests of states had a higher agenda then those of the national level. Each state

tried to differ from the next and more people started getting into politics. Most of the

politicians were of different class then the commoners. They were of higher status and

their appearances and demeanor were very formal.

Americans used these differences to their advantage.

For example, Federalists

were the elites of the country and were associated with manufacturing and

commercialism. They wanted the creation of a National Bank and also to keep ties with

Great Britain. The Republicans wanted limited government intervention and they also

were for states rights. Like the Federalists, the Republicans wanted a strong central

government, but wanted to have relations with the French. With these differences in

mind, Americans who could identify with the politicians joined their parties.

Different social groups also started to emerge. Southerners wanted slavery while

Quakers and Northerners opposed it. The southerners needed slaves for their economy.

They also held the beliefs that it was their God given right to enslave Africans because

they didn't know how to take care of themselves. Another reason they said to have

enslave blacks was that they were technologically illiterate and needed someone to watch

over them. These opinions and thoughts sound very ridiculous and absurd, but were the

way that southerners justified the institution of slavery. Quakers on the other hand were

against slavery and felt what the Southerners were doing to Blacks was immoral and was

wrong. Many Quakers including Stephen Tying took action against slavery. He stated in

his book that he had to leave his Maryland parish for a Philadelphia one because of " the

dreadful evil of slavery." P 225 Numerous others like English immigrant Morris

Birkbeck described slavery as, "The prevailing topic- the beginning, the middle, and the

end-an evil upper flee, but for which no man can devise a remedy." P 225 Most people in

the North condemned slavery and blamed the southerners for it.

All these differences interfered with Americans being able to identify with the

rest of the world and create a national identity. The nation started to grow apart rapidly

and different groups began sprouting. These differences between politicians, political

groups, religions, and regions of the U.S. would come to fester up in the Civil war. The

U.S. was founded by people who wanted to escape persecution and also create a

democratic nation where everyone could be judged equally. Numerous groups were

formed because of these beliefs. These Revolutionaries were also hypocrites, because they

escaped their country's because they felt like they were being persecuted by their rulers,

but instead of uphold their values, they created the institution of slavery in America.