Although many events happening during the Civil War may seem quite easy and comprehensible from the modern perspective, generalization is usually the tool for producing such an effect. Therefore, diverse situations may be interpreted differently based on the consideration of facts related to certain examined events. For instance, the issues of slavery and Abraham Lincoln’s vision are much more controversial and correlated than usually imagined.
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For example, the conflict and belligerence between the enslaved South and the industrial North are known as the most essential reason for the Civil War in the United States. The issue was actively considered, discussed, and fought for its solution during the period of this armed conflict. The broad-based fact is that Southerners were opposed to the slavery reduction, and Northerners on the opposite tried to demolish the slave-owning system to reach high industrial progress. Those stereotypes often come from the fact that by that time, the North and the South ran different political campaigns regarding the issue (Corbett et al. 391). However, despite this stereotype, the issue itself does not represent an absolute competition between the bad and the good.
White Southerners living under the poverty line usually admired slave-owners and desired to possess enslaved workers. Additionally, it was the probable riots and strikes led by black people that scared both the people from the South and the North. The general opposition of the South to the release of black workers is motivated by customs, traditions, and historically formed structures. According to Corbett et al., the Southerners also wanted to protect white workers from the need to compete with black workers, and therefore, lost working opportunities (390). Due to a comparably low industrialization level in this part of the United States, slavery was one of the most significant tools of production and farming.
On the opposite, the Lincoln administration and policy tried to achieve the full deterioration of the slave-owning system; however, the North had lower integrity in this problem-solving. This situation is usually represented in diverse books and scholarly journals, but both states had their exceptions. For example, one of the most known South army commanders, general Wills Grant was a slave-owner. However, the reason he did not let his slaves loose was great support in the household from their side. Despite the described state of the issue, the thing that influenced such diverse attitudes is the economic and social problems in different territories.
In the South, the resistance against slavery annihilation was caused by its role as the main tool of economic wellbeing, while the North was more industrialized; therefore, such harassing labor conditions were unnecessary. Regardless of the Northern aim of the slave-owning system demolition, the thing that undermines this goal is that the American president along with his followers did not suggest equalizing the rights of black and white people. For example, Corbett et al. state that diverse banners showing the superiority of the white race were generally present in U.S. society (405). Additionally, from the very beginning, the presidents of the USA did not pursue slavery annihilation on the whole country’s territory.
For instance, the perception of A. Lincoln as a radical adherent of the emancipation of black workers is exaggerated. It was the propaganda that created such an image of the president. However, the politicians would never fight for the social and political equality of both races, and he would never support the idea of providing African Americans with a franchise. Therefore, despite the stereotypes of high and socially great social goals, the attitudes of the South and the North towards the issue were not completely different. In conclusion, although Southerners are seen as slavery supporters and the Northerners as fighters for freedom, the Civil War and its outcomes showed that the problem cannot be divided into good and bad.
Corbett, Scott et al. U.S. History. OpenStax, 2014.
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