Civil War: Explain the advantages of the North and the South.
Political Crisis: Explain some of the key events in Chapter 14 that led up to the Civil War. What social and political trends do you see behind these events? Do you think the war was the result of poor leadership, or was it due to forces that nobody could control?
The nineteenth century was a momentous period in the United States. This is because the country was divided right down in the middle with Northerners favoring abolition of slavery and Southerners supporting the expansion of slavery. The two expressed different views of the American promise because the held divergent inclinations with regards to economy, culture and society.
David Wilmot’s proposal christened the “Wilmot Proviso” proposed the banning of slavery in California and New Mexico territories set the stage for the division between Northerners and Southerners over the question of slavery. The proposal went beyond party affiliation as it enjoyed widespread support among Northerners and Southerners treated it as an attack to their interests. Also, the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act and publication of Harriett’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” infuriated the Southerners because the two were a anti-slavery and hardened the sentiments of the Northerners. The Fugitive Slave Act was unpopular among Northerners because it compelled them to be slave catchers something they did not want to be party to.
Furthermore, the bloody violence christened “Bleeding Kansas” that erupted in Kansas in 1856 and the 1857 Dred Scott decision heightened the collapse of the Union and the emergence of civil war. The Kansas-Nebraska Act that led to the bloody violence damaged the existing political system that strengthened the Union. The violence pitted the antislavery and proslavery factions. The Dred Scott decision exacerbated the problem since it strengthened the Southerners’ pursuit of expanding slavery to the new territories to the dislike of the Northerners. The Kansas-Nebraska Act and Dred Scott decision went against the ideals of the new Republican party and were a confirmation of the South’s spirited attempts to promote slavery.
Poor political leadership contributed to the Civil War. Political players failed to reach a compromise on how to deal with the question of slavery in the Union with Southerners fixing their attention on expansion of slavery. The Southerners instead chose secession instead of abolition of slavery when they realized their labor system built on slavery was threatened following the election of Abraham Lincoln and attempts of militant antislavery.
Q4. Civil War: Explain the advantages of the North and the South. Was the South foolish to think they could win the war? How did the war change America? Examine specific events in Chapter 15 to explain your thinking.
The American Civil War was revolutionary in the sense that it ended slavery. The North and the South enjoyed different advantages in the war. The advantages of the North included a bigger population of 22.3 million people compared to the South’s 9.1 million and strong economy. The North enjoyed numerous economic advantages that included a high production of wealth, large population of industrial workers, high percentages of factory, textile, firearms, iron and coal production, and the biggest percentage of railroad mileage. Other advantages enjoyed by the Union were a high percentage of livestock, farm acreage, and wheat and corn production, merchant and naval ship tonnage.Civil War: Explain the advantages of the North and the South.
The Confederates were statistically inferior but enjoyed some advantages. One advantage was that the south produced 96 percent of the nation’s cotton which was a major foreign exchange earner of the country. The South relied on a military strategy of exploiting its advantages by withholding benefits of trade. The South was foolish to think they could win the war going by their numeral disadvantages. The military strategy the South devised to defeat the North sounded more as wishful thinking because it was easily defeated through a naval blockade declared by President Lincoln. The South lacked the industrial, economic and military muscles to defeat the North.
The Civil War changed America for the better. It led to the decentralization of politics and the integration of the economy. Following the war, legislations were enacted that created miles of telegraph lines and transcontinental railroad that bound the West territories to the rest of the country. Also, the war led to the collapse of slavery in the country resulting in gaining of freedom by the black people.
Q3. Women: Describe the role of women in various time periods we have studied. What events or changes in society had the most impact on women? How do you see women contributing to changes in the country in the eras we covered?
In ancient America, women were instrumental in food production. During the hunter-gatherer lifestyle of ancient Americans, women were tasked with planting, growing, and harvesting crops such sunflowers and tobacco. This was in addition to their role of gathering edible wild plants, nuts and seeds to feed their families.
During the early days of Europeans in the New World, women were useful resources because they provided labor and carried household chores. Women were involved in hoeing, harvesting tobacco, cooking, gardening, washing, milking and cleaning. Furthermore, young women were shipped to the New World so that they could be taken in as wives by the white male settlers. Therefore, women were an important piece of servitude in the colony and the establishment of families.
Moreover, women played a key role in revolting against the British colonists. Women were referred as “Daughters of Liberty” in the role in renouncing British tea after the imposition of Townshend duties. This encouraged female patriotism and the realization that women could a critical role in public affairs. This was through the boycotting of British-made goods such as tea and the promotion of home-manufactured goods such as homespun cloth and yarn. Women were efficient architects of self-disciplined and self-sacrificing boycotts and anti-British sentiment during the colonial period. In the struggle for independence, women also served in the Continental army. Their duties included washing, cooking, washing, and nursing the wounded.
The Edenton tea ladies (They pledged to renounce British tea)Civil War: Explain the advantages of the North and the South.
Women played a critical role in the economy of their households when husbands were away on political or military service and during the market revolution. Women took up the duties of managing farms and running businesses during the struggle for independence. Women also formed the Ladies Association that was used to collect money for Continental soldiers. Therefore, women were instrumental in furtherance of the Revolution and clamor for American independence. Though women were denied the right to vote, they were instrumental in greasing the affairs of the new state through political networking and lobbying. This was essential in smoothing out the governing process.
Political revolution, pursuit for American independence and market revolution had the most impact to women. The revolution brought the patriotic side of women. They led the silent protest against colonists which had profound effect to the British. Furthermore, the market revolution enabled the participation of women in the economy by taking up the new jobs created. This enhanced the economic situation of women in the country.
Photo of Mercy Otis Warren (She was well-positioned to know about revolutionary politics).
Though women were relegated to the periphery of political participation in early periods of the country, they were active players in the social, economic and political spheres of the country. In ancient America, they were instrumental in providing food for their families. During the Revolution and the clamor for independence from British colonists, women were instrumental in entrenching patriotism in the country albeit silently. Furthermore, women nurtured their families as their husbands stayed on political frontlines helping to put together a country.Civil War: Explain the advantages of the North and the South.