The United States and Difficult Reunification Through a Civil War


The Civil War in the United States of America broke out in 1861 when eleven states in the south decided to secede from the federal government. These states left the Union and formed a confederacy called the Confederate States of America. The states felt that the individual states should wield more power and authority than the federal government. The then United States President Abraham Lincoln believed that the nations constitution did not allow the states to leave the union. Therefore, the federal Union went to war with the confederacy to save the Union. In this paper, I will identify and explain how the north and south came to create different versions of America in the period prior to the civil war outbreak.The factors I have identified and explained include; slavery and expansion, American economy, society and culture and the political ideas during that time, briefly discuss the Civil War and the Reconstruction, lastly, conclude by giving a comment on whether the US successfully re-united and agreed as the issues that had divided them.

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When the United States earned her independence after winning the Revolutionary war, the institution of slavery remained intact. However, northern states changed this course permanently when slavery was abolished in 1820. Southern states on the other hand embarked on expanding slavery in contrast with the actions embraced by the northern states. Thus, the impact of the American Revolution created two legacies in America; that of ending slavery in the north, and its expansion the southern states. This impacted heavily on the transformation of the African American society.

The abolition of slavery in the northern state raised the issue of race. Despite of their freedom, people of African descent were confined to a place of permanent inferiority by white Americans. The issues of slavery and race had been reconfigured prior to the outbreak of the civil war. Gradually, slavery came to an end in the free northern states. However, this practice was not eradicated completely late nineteenth century. The greatest efforts to wipe out slavery in the northern states and beyond began in earnest when values related to free labor such as; legal equality, social mobility, and political democracy gained prominence in the northern states. The antislavery crusaders joined hands with proponents of free labor to make up a strong force that managed to wipe out slavery in the north. These antislavery crusaders marched under powerful burners of Republicanism, free soil, and radical abolition. They detested the south and viewed southern states as representatives of evil because they condoned slavery.

While the northern states were undergoing transformation for ending slavery, the southern states were realizing the expansion of slavery. Southern states praised and marketed slavery as beneficial and encouraged it across states. By the time radical abolitionists from the north launched their attacks in these territories, slave owners in these states had already encased slavery as an institution. Plantation owners in the south were critical of free labor, they so it as an excuse for derogation of social responsibility. Generally, the lives of black Americans were shaped by the emergence of the northern and southern states. The politics of slavery was the dividing issue that affected the Union. The crusade against slavery by the north created defiance by the south that would later result to a civil war.

When President Abraham Lincoln (pro slavery abolitionists) won the elections in 1861, eleven southern states seceded from the Union. These states broke off to a Confederation of the United States of America. With a Confederacy, these states believed that they should wield more power than the federal government. The United States went into war with the confederacy to save the Union. According to President Lincoln, the constitution did not allow any state to leave the Union. In the ensuing war that lasted four years, the north defeated the south and the Union was restored once more. The end of the civil war heralded the reconstruction period in US history.


In conclusion, the United States had successfully re-united at the end of the Reconstruction period as it succeeded in freeing all slaves in the country. However, the end of the civil war and the Reconstruction period did not fully address the challenges arising from freedoms and liberties gained by a majority of freed blacks. The southern whites who were staunch crusaders of slavery regained political influence. Despite of the black population gaining freedom, they were barred by local laws from exercising it. For instance, they were not allowed to access public facilities, they had the right to vote but were threatened and intimidated at the polls. The American south became deeply segregated and remained so for many years.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'The United States and Difficult Reunification Through a Civil War'. 13 October.

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