Civil War

Anonymous

Writing about recorded history should be a relatively easy task to accomplish. Recorded history is based on facts. Regardless of what time period one may write about, one will find enough information about that time of period. The key is to put everything in a logical and understandable manner. This paper will be about the Civil War. I will try, to the best of my knowledge, to discuss the North?s and South?s positions and Arguments for going to war, their initial military strategies and their strength and weaknesses. The paper will actually be a summary from chapter 10 of the book Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era By: James McPherson, "Amateurs Go To War".

Before discussing the war itself, one must understand the Union?s and the Confederate?s arguments and reasons for going to war. Let?s start at the beginning, when the South was first showing animosity for the North, which eventually led to sessionist ideas by the South.

The Compromise of 1850 was drafted in response to the threat of a Southern Convention, because of Zachary Taylors decision to carve out two huge territories in the Far West and to admit them in the union as free states. Henry Clay drafted the compromise, which includes eight parts. "The first pair would admit California as a State and organize the remainder of the Mexican cession without "any restriction or condition on the subject of slavery". The second pair of resolutions settled the boundary dispute between Texas and New Mexico in favor of the latter and compensated Texas by federal assumption of debts contracted during its existence as an Independent Republic. Clay?s third pair of resolutions called for abolition of the slave trade in the District of Columbia but a guarantee of slavery itself in the District. As if these six proposals yielded more to the North then to the South, Clay?s final pair of resolutions tipped the balance Southward by denying congressional power over the interstate slave trade and calling for a stronger law to enable slave holders to recover their property when they fled to free states" Battle Cry of freedom: The Civil War Era, McPherson James, (p.70-71). The Northerners hated the fugitive slave law, because in the past it was never enforced and it never gave a trial by jury to any runaway slaves. The only testimony heard was that of the slaveholder and he usually recovered his slave. Not only that, but the slaveholder was compensated $10 for winning the trial because of all the trouble he had to go through in recovering his property. Because of the passage of the compromise, the North had to enforce the law which it hated.

As the United States expanded westward, two new territories were carved out and the issue of slavery arose again. The U.S. government let the two new territories decide themselves whether or not to permit slavery. Since it was up to the people to decide the slavery issue, Northern abolitionists enticed anti-slavery supporters to move into the new regions and vote to make Kansas and Nebraska free states. Southern pro-slavery supporters did exactly as the North did to make Kansas and Nebraska slave states. The two sides clashed with one another over this issue and there was literally a Civil War in Kansas.

One particular situation that occurred in Kansas was the sacking of the city of Lawrence. Pro slavery advocates of the city of LeCompton, Kansas set up a group or a posse that went to the anti-slavery city of Lawrence, Kansas, ransacked, burned and literally destroyed the city. In response to this attack by the Southerners the Northerners took revenge. John Brown, a radical abolitionist, decided to do a similar thing to the Southerners. He planned an attack on LeCompton, Kansas. Enroute to LeCompton he encountered about five pro slavery supporters, and without remorse, hacked them to death at Potawattamie Creek in Kansas. The entire country was slowly being divided into two parts and even congress could not do anything to resolve the problems. Political parties were splitting along North/South lines and even violence was a common occurrence in congress. The last straw, which eventually split the Union, was the election of 1860. On the eve of the election, Southerners had already agreed that if a republican wins the election, they would leave the Union. Well, history shows that Lincoln, a republican, was elected and the south truly