Could the Civil War Have Been Avoided?
To date, the Civil War remains the greatest battle on the U.S. territory and one of the most significant events in the American history. The war resulted in an array of changes introduced to the American society, the abolition of slavery being the key one. However, the drastic toll that it has taken on the U.S. population begs the question whether the Civil War could have been avoided. As an impetus for change, the war seemed inevitable, yet the alterations to the social hierarchy could have been introduced to the American society in a less violent way.
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Nevertheless, one must admit that the tension among the members of the American society has been brewing for quite long (Miller and Martin 00:02:17). Moreover, the inhumane ay in which slaves were treated added to the overall impression of the necessity to fight against the system. Finally, the fact that the South was not ready to abandon the traditional agriculture-based economy and refuse from using slaves as free manpower showed that an armed uprising that would, later on, turn into the Civil War, proves that the military confrontation was inescapable.
What Seems to Be the Cause of the War
The realization that slavery was an abhorrent phenomenon and that it needed to be eradicated from the fabric of the American society is often listed among the primary causes of the Civil War. However, there is another way of looking at the issue. To be more accurate, the social tension that has been in existence between the South and the North should be listed among the prerequisites for the Civil War. As Hollitz explains, “Northern success and southern failure can be traced to significant differences in the two societies” (Hollitz 287). Therefore, it could have also been the deeply seated misunderstanding rooted in the discrepancy between the lifestyles of the two cultures that caused the war.
The psychological reasons for the failure of the Confederates and the victory of the North should also be examined to understand the causes of the conflict better. It can be assumed that the U.S. society needed to pass to a different stage of its development, whereas the principles and standards set by the South, with the idea of slavery keeping this philosophy together, was holding back the American society. Consequently, a change had to be made.
Was the Victory of the North Inevitable?
When the war erupted, the North was prepared for the fight much better than the South was (Hollitz 288). In fact, the amount of human resources that the North had created a “more than two-to-one advantage in population” (Hollitz 288). Therefore, it would be safe to say that the outcomes of the Civil War were predetermined to a considerable degree. Naturally, the threat of the South being able to stifle the abolitionist moods lingered for quite a while. Nevertheless, the “advantages in manpower, resources, and industrial capacity” (Hollitz 288), which North had, prove that the proponents of abolitionism had very big chances to win the war.
Apart from the significant advantage in human resources, the North also had a new and democracy-based philosophy that focused on eradicating slavery. While the premises for providing African Americans with essential civil rights and liberties had not been created yet, the basis for promoting the concept of equality was built. Thus, the North had everything to win the war, and the outcome as predetermined before the war was even started.
Hollitz, John. Thinking Through the Past. Vol. 1. Cengage Learning, 2014.
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Miller, Donald L., and Waldo E. Martin. “Program 12: Reconstruction.” Learner.org, 2000. Web.