Civil War

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 did leave the
Union. During the four months, prior to President Lincoln’s
inauguration, President James Buchanan did nothing to
discourage secession. It may be even concluded that he was
sympathetic to the Southern cause. South Carolina was the
first state to secede from the Union, and by February 1861
seven more southern states followed South Carolina’s
example. Finally,