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9/28 Blog Post Alex

Going to a boarding school, which brought in students from all over the country, conversations about the civil war were always very interesting and informative. While I, a student from the north was taught about the war that freed the slaves from southern cruelty, my friends from the south were taught about a war for the state’s rights and resisting an overcontrolling federal government. Thus, in history class, we examined the surface claims of both the north and the south but also the multi-layered reasons for the civil war. The different views of different parts of the country still exist and are part of the reason there was such a debate with the removal of confederate statues.

While the north did generally want to end slavery, part of the reason was the economic prosperity that the cotton industry and slavery gave the south over the north, whose lands permitted industry. They thought too much southern power would mean their oppression. The north wanted to preserve the union as well.  The south also had a stake in the game and felt particularly threatened as the balance of free and slave states shifted giving the North more federal power. Without slavery, the Southern economy would take a big hit, and they feared the northern power that would ensue as a result.

However, I found it very interesting to dive more specifically into Abraham Lincoln, who is usually considered a hero for the emancipation proclamation. Yet, looking at his changing statements regarding slavery it brings a new element of politics that has to be considered. Do you think that it matters what other intentions went into the emancipation proclamation because, at the end of the day, it went into effect and ended slavery? Is the end result all that matters when examining Lincoln, or is that just glorifying a history that needs to be looked at with critique?

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4 Comments

  1. Sara Moushegian Sara Moushegian

    I think your final comment about whether we need to critique Lincoln as a hero, or just focus on the positive effects the Emancipation Proclamation still had, despite a lack of racical rhetoric against slavery, is an interesting one. In the light of this class, I believe the answer is yes, we need to dive more into Lincoln and his flaws. If we analyze Lincoln and notice that his motives for the Emancipation Proclamation were not fueled by being passionately against slavery, but instead just wanting to preserve the Unnion, we can look deeper into who truly dismantled slavery. These are the historical people we need to be praising. The black abolitionists and the slaves that left their masters after the 13th Amendement was put into place are the real heroes that dismanelted slavery, not any white man in power.

  2. Mia Slaunwhite Mia Slaunwhite

    The Civil War is just another example of how differences in the economy cause a disruption. The money gap difference between the North and the South creates disruption between the two. Being from the south, I was never thought that part of the war was fought because of money.

  3. Isabela Keetley Isabela Keetley

    I like how you referenced how you learned about the Civil War in the North with people from all over. I am from Maryland which is technically south of the Mason Dixon, however I learned about the war very in a very neutral way (I would think), as I learned about it from both sides. I also found it interesting that one of the main factors that led us to the Civil War was an imbalance in the states. The video touched on this more, but i was intrigued to learn that states were more loyal to themselves than the nation as a whole.

  4. Sofia Adams Sofia Adams

    I really liked how you discussed the differences you have noticed in your personal life between the relationships the north and south have with the civil war. Being from the north I learned similarly that we fought in the civil war against slavery. I think that statement is half true. I think it is interesting how in reality the north was fighting against the south for power and to preserve their way of life (industry).

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