• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent did the American Civil War succeed in removing the two main causes of conflict: slavery and sectionalism, between the North and South?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent did the American Civil War succeed in removing the two main causes of conflict: slavery and sectionalism, between the North and South? The causes of the Civil War are a subject that have fascinated historians for generations, provoking many different interpretations. From my study I have found slavery and sectionalism to be the most important causes. In the short term, the war did not succeed in eradicating these causes of conflict and actually incited further problems, such as racism and violence. The Reconstruction period failed to achieve its main aims, which were to re-unite the two sections of North and South into the Union, and to help the Negro to infiltrate that country as a citizen, and not a slave. I also aim to show that these forces are still evident in American society today, and therefore bring the historical argument up to date. Sectionalism is a multi-faceted cause, and many historians have stressed different aspects of this sectionalism as the cause of conflict. Cultural and social historians emphasise the contrast between the civilisations and values of the two regions, whereas progressive historians stress the economic gulf between the North and South, and Marxist historians believe the class difference was the overriding cause of conflict. These views are valid as a detailed insight into particular areas of sectionalism, however their narrow viewpoint ignores other contributing factors. ...read more.

Middle

Whites disallowed blacks the right to better their position through education. Post war public education was only provisioned for whites, as they believed that the education of blacks was "a waste of effort, or even dangerous" (Degler). All over the South in 1865-7 any white person who attempted to instruct Negroes was subject to attacks and violence. Therefore the blacks were further denied rights, much the same as they were under slavery. Under the driving will of the Radical Republicans, the fourteenth and fifteenth Amendment of 1866 and 1869 were adopted to the Constitution. These allowed the blacks to be full citizens, and equal in rights and voting privileges with white men. This threat of possible black power to white supremacy caused an upsurge of hatred towards the blacks, and an outbreak of violence and intimidation at the ballot box. Groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, Knights of White Camelia, The White Brotherhood and The Pale Faces began to emerge. Their aim is shown in the official charge to the new recruits of the Ku Klux Klan in 1867: "Our main and fundamental objective is the maintenance of the supremacy of the white race in this Republic." Therefore we can see that the emancipation of the slaves actually provoked worse reaction towards the Negroes, and made their life one filled with terror, which it had net been to the same extent before. ...read more.

Conclusion

This can be viewed in a positive manner however, in that we are given deep insight into one type of historical viewpoint, a view that many post-war Southerners would have held, one that evidently still exists today. This idea of Southern nationalism was deeply rooted in their fear of losing their traditions and therefore the status quo of the section. It was an unwillingness to change into a section like the North. They had their stereotypical views of the North, thus to change they felt they would incite "moral and Physical ruin." Therefore it can be seen that not only was slavery still apparent in America after the Civil War, but also the divisions between the sections still existed. Thus the reconstruction had failed in most of its aims, and the Civil War had not succeeded in removing its causes on conflict. Even in today's society, one hundred and fifty years later, the causes behind the war are still evident in America. We can see that when the causes relate to the opinion, habits and traditions of the people they are extremely difficult to remove, and the mid set is often passed down through generations. The range of sources that I have used have all been unanimous in one aspect: they all acknowledge that the Civil War has been and will continue to be one of the most influential events that America has ever experienced, and that it is difficult to assess whether the divisions underlying the war will ever be fully removed from American society. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    To what extent were Malcolm X and the subsequent Black Power Movement the 'Evil ...

    4 star(s)

    What was achieved by people such as Rosa Parks56 and King in the Civil Rights Acts of 196457 and 196858 and the Voting Rights act of 196559 went against what many advocates of Black Power and Malcolm X were aiming for.

  2. Was there any truth in the Southern claim that slavery was both a benign ...

    White patrols were undertaken and any slave suspected of plotting a rebellion faced death, resulting in the death of many innocents. By the 1850s manumission had become much less common, as laws had been passed which severely restricted the rights of Southern planters to free their slaves.

  1. Free essay

    JFK assassination - different theories and the evidence.

    departure from the office to transfer towards the lunchroom, Carolyn also established that previously she had recognized Oswald's appearance in past times. If Oswald was the lone gunman and engineered of the plan to assassinate the president from the sixth floor of the Depository, why did he withhold such a

  2. In considering the development of the USA in the years 1815-1917, how far can ...

    territory and the US army did nothing to protect the Indians, thus it could be argued that after the Civil war America was being more orientated to develop the country and the Native American needs were neglected , therefore the Union victory was not seen as a turning point for

  1. What is the short term significance of the Emancipation Proclamation?

    the military benefits of emancipation' this illustrated the change of the war purpose helping the military focusing on black American slaves and supporting their freedom which shows the significance of black Americans that the emancipation proclamation brought about. The military service was a strong aspect for the emancipation and equality.

  2. The Great Depression, causes and effects.

    facing a financial crises not all countries will be affected severely, for example China whose GDP rose from 25731 billion CNY in 2007 and had a growth rate of 13% to a GDP of 30067 billion CNY in 2008 with a growth rate of 9%( http://www.chinapolitik.de/studien/china_analysis/no_67.pdf).

  1. Research on the major Civil rights events between 1963 to 1968

    Martin Luther King returned to Birmingham to stress nonviolence. After the campaign Had a long lasting impact on their country, improved people?s lives In June 1963, the Jim Crow signs regulating segregated public places in Birmingham were taken down. Desegregation in Birmingham took place slowly after the demonstrations.

  2. What was the short term significance of the maintenance of slavery in the southern ...

    was slavery related owing to the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. His policies and views on slavery and ever growing power of the North scared the South into the prospect of ?being controlled? by the North and having to abolish slavery.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work