The American Civil War was a war between the citizens of the Northern and Southern states presented by the governments of the Union and the Confederacy. The Civil War started with the worsening relationships between the Union representatives, who were gaining more power in parliament. The abolition of slavery – the issue that caused wide repulsion in Southern states’ governors – gave an impetus to the outbreak of hostilities. The Southern states were protecting their economic potential threatened by the ‘liberal’ positions of the Northerners. Noteworthy, the state of Ohio played a significant role in the Civil War, and its role is actively discussed these days (Kern and Wilson 17). This paper aims to discuss the positive contribution of Ohio during the crisis in the Civil War and its impact on the Union’s victory.
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The military industry of Ohio has improved during the Civil War. It was directed by the talented leader William Dennison who initiated the creation of strong military coordination. The state voted to remain in the Union, and its geographic location determined its central position in the ongoing war. Ohio played a momentous role in the protection of the Union. More than 320,000 soldiers from Ohio took part in the Civil War, and their skills, patriotism, and determination eventually brought victory to the Union (Kern and Wilson 29). William Dennison decided to organize mobilization in the first days of the Civil War. This action was sensible and highly practical since the strengthening of positions allowed the general to prevent the first attacks of the Confederates. Subsequently, the Union gained an edge in control of military facilities, such as Fort Sumter, which gave an advantage in the subsequent course of battles.
The rejection to leave the Union when the Confederacy was created improved its relations with other Union states. Ohio elites always considered the voices of its civilians, who included a significant percentage of non-English citizens from New York and Black citizens. This situation was considered by Union politicians as a political advantage. Moreover, political parties in Ohio supported the states’ role in the Civil War and worked to ensure the victory of the Union. The elites were backing the democratic interests, which was proved by Lincoln’s victory in the state in 1864 (Kern and Wilson 31). Led and inspired by the elites, citizens supported the Union’s political structure and stood for its independence (Kern and Wilson 33). Noteworthy, strong political ideologies demonstrated by Ohio citizens and dedication shown by Ohio soldiers helped Union defend the democratic values and get victories in numerous battles.
The state’s military influenced the Union army greatly by providing a significant number of volunteers. Kern and Wilson (39) stated that before the British invasion in 1813, the Ohio army’s potential was insignificant, and the state could be easily taken under control. Nevertheless, by the beginning of the Civil War, the Ohio military industry turned into one of the most successful in the United States under the power of the governors and professional army leaders. There were two main military headquarters in Ohio, and in comparison with other states, they had the strongest weaponry (Kern and Wilson 40). Ohio soldiers were also trained to fight in unpredictable circumstances. When the Civil War has started, the proportion of men who joined the Union’s army and brought victory was one of the biggest and reached up to 60% (Kern and Wilson 41). Therefore, understanding the strong sides of the economy made Ohio state the powerful leader in the Civil War.
The state’s development of railroads and agricultural industry helped Union win the war. During the crisis, the state became a supplier of essential products like food and clothes, delivered by railroads. Noteworthy, Ohio received more than $20,000 from the federal government, along with all the debts being paid off, to develop its productions and help the Union win the war (Kern and Wilson 42). Although imports and exports were slowed down during the conflict, the state maintained its economic position and supported bordering states. Thanks to the state’s fertile lands, the agriculture level did not decrease during the Civil War, and farms continued to support other related industries to save the local economy.
When the war was ended, Ohio turned into one of the most developed locations in the U.S. According to Kern and Wilson (45), it entered the top three in the population level and the top five of the most industrialized states in the country. The Ohio authorities managed to save the economy and ensure the stability of the state’s legislation system. The region’s farming industry supported the army forces, and a significant number of products like meat, vegetables, and berries were delivered to the military bases (Kern and Wilson 46). The rapid development of the economy during the Civil War positively influenced the outcomes of the conflict and helped maintain the stable growth of Northern states.
Thus, during a difficult time for the whole nation, Ohio supported the citizens of the Union, protected its economy, ensured political stability, and greatly supported the army. The state’s sturdy agricultural sector aided Union by delivering food to the army forces, and the railways contributed to the improved coordination between the states. Gratitude to the state of Ohio and its citizens has been preserved up to recent days.
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Kern, Kevin F. and Wilson, Gregory S. Ohio: A History of the Buckeye State. Wiley, 2014.