Civil War Between American Citizens

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The war occurred between American citizens in the north and south6. This war united the country to the American ideals than ever before even though it was a bad one. The ideals include human rights, democracy, opportunity, liberty, and equity 2. The civil war was due to the battle of Bull Run which took place on Wilmer McLean’s farm situated at Manassas Junction in Virginia. The northern Americans had more advantages compared to their opposing side, southern Americans. First, the south was outnumbered in terms of farm production, the number of industries, railway lines and naval forces which form an important means of moving supplies and troops. The southern also had advantages which made them never to back down. They had outstanding military leadership and fought a defensive war on their soil. During such times, equality was granted to select few.

The war had numerous effects on Americans which made a majority of migrating to union lines. The government lacked policies to deal with fugitives, and therefore union commanders had to decide on what to do with them. Some commanders returned fugitives to their previous owners, keep them away from war camps while others paid them as cooks, guides, carpenters, and drivers in battle1. This kind of treatment showed equality. Equality was granted to all men when America was declared an independent state. This article addresses equality and opportunity to all American after the American civil war which acted as a critical turning point in American history.

During this time, African Americans were never allowed to participate in the war, something which changed in 1862 when the department of war issued a general order 143 authorizing colored troops1. The blacks fought in the 54th Massachusetts, a war in which many African Americans participated. However, blacks were never given the same treatment as their white counterparts. For example in New York City, they were killed in draft riots and considered not good enough and had to dig ditches. Also, they were not given the same weapons as the whites, not given proper war training as the whites and were enslaved or executed whenever captured. African American soldiers who captured in the south risked being killed or enslaved instead of being imprisoned as white soldiers. This was a form of inequality.

Also, women were to participate in the war even though not the same way as men. Women served as nurses and were to assist in the recovery of soldiers. It was forbidden for women to engage in an armed fight and could only be allowed to watch from a far distance — women who wanted to be part of the civil war dressed as men and joined the army. Women acted as spies, for example, a woman named Rose Greenhow3. Women were never considered capable of spying and never got a harsh punishment when caught. Another woman who served in the war was a woman named Harriet Tubman who served as a nurse. The war took place in the south, something the women in the south took to their advantage. They provided shelter to those who needed medical attention, and therefore their homes acted as hospitals, “After the First Battle of Bull Run, for instance, Sally Tompkins established a hospital in a private home and began caring for wounded Confederate soldiers.” Even though women never engaged in war combat, they had a role to play during the war. They nursed the wooded soldiers, acted as spies though were never given severe punishment when caught while others dressed up as men to join the army.

The outbreak of the civil war can be attributed to many problems such as slaver, and economic equality. Slavery was a problem in America. Also, the civil war can be blamed on the clash which occurred between states’ rights and federal authority. The president of the Confederate (Jefferson Davis) at the time had a role to play in the civil war when he became the president. In his speech, Davis perfectly illustrated his views about the southern American concerning federal authority when he stated, “an organization created by the States, to secure the blessings of liberty and independence against foreign aggression, has been gradually perverted into a machine for their control in their domestic affairs.”6. Davis together with some South Americans considered the state as the supreme authority.

The succession of the states in the south marked the beginning of the civil war. The war broke out after Abraham Lincoln was elected as the United States president. They felt threatened because Abraham Lincoln was against slavery. The south dependent on slaver as a source of labor. They had a feeling to have lost what to hold against the federal government after Abraham’s election and this marked the end of slavery in the union. “The days when they (the South) could direct the course of the country were now a part of the past.”6. The South Americans felt their position in the union seceded. The succession of states in the south threatened to destroy everything the United States had created.

Moreover, South and North America had a huge gap in their economy4. South America majorly dependent on slaves to provide the needed labor to maintain their crops in huge plantations. Davis knew an end to slavery would create problem in the south and he expressed his thoughts on the matter when he said, “The people of the Southern States, whose almost exclusive occupation was agriculture, early perceived a tendency in the Northern States to render a common government subservient to their purposes by imposing burthens on commerce as protection to their manufacturing and shipping interests.”6. The north, on the other hand, had established industries and more urban. The economic difference facilitated differences between the two sides in all aspects of life hence the outbreak of the American civil war.

Interpretation of the Civil War

Therefore the civil war had a huge impact on American citizens. They were more united than before, and the historical progress of American people went from building hospitals for patients instead of having them in homes, ending of slavery, and promoted democracy. Present America has the Republicans, and the Democrats take some rights to heart and vow to commit to them. Also, the civil war comprised of all the American ideals such as opportunity, equality, liberty, human rights, and democracy. However, the war was based mainly on opportunity and equality; for example, the African Americans fought for equality and be granted the same opportunity as the whites. Also, women fought to be regarded as equals to men and have the same opportunities as men.


  1. Blight, David W. Race, and reunion: The civil war in American memory. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2001.
  2. Dudziak, Mary L. Cold war civil rights: Race and the image of American democracy. Vol. 73. Princeton University Press, 2011.
  3. Eggleston, Larry G. Women in the Civil War: Extraordinary Stories of Soldiers, Spies, Nurses, Doctors, Crusaders, and Others. McFarland, 2009.
  4. Fahs, Alice. The Imagined Civil War: Popular Literature of the North and South, 1861-1865. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2010.
  5. Richardson, Heather Cox. West from Appomattox: The Reconstruction of America after the Civil War. Yale University Press, 2007.
  6. Weigley, Russell Frank. A great civil war: a military and political history, 1861-1865. Indiana University Press, 2000.

Cite this paper

Civil War Between American Citizens. (2020, Sep 14). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-american-civil-war/

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