The essence of freedom lay in local self-government.”

The
Civil War was inevitable between the North and the South. The Civil War took
place between 1861 to 1865. The North and the South were on two different paths
when it came to the topics of economic status and views about slavery. The
North and South failed to reconcile with the compromises of 1820 and 1850, all
it did was create more tension. The Missouri compromise of 1820 had created a
border for slavery with the degree of 36 ? 30 ? from the North. Everything
above the line would be free states while everything below the line would be
slave states. The compromise of 1850 made California a free state and slave
trade was banned in Washington D.C. William H. Seward stated, “The United
States, he predicted, “must and will, sooner or later, become entirely a
slaveholding nation, or entirely a free-labor nation.”” (William H. Seward,
“The Irrepressible Conflict”)

Secession
was one reason why the Civil War started between the North and the South. The
presidential election was between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. Both
opponents had different views when it came to freedom. “To Lincoln, freedom
meant opposition to slavery. Douglas insisted that the essence of freedom lay
in local self-government.” (The Lincoln-Douglas Debates) Douglas eventually was
re-elected as president but it also created a strong reputation for Lincoln. In
1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected president with only Northern votes meaning he
beat Douglas, the Southerners favorite. Policies were put in place by Lincoln
and eventually South Carolina responded by being the first state to secede from
the Union. Other Southern states soon followed. Northern states believed
secession was not legal while Southern States believed it was perfectly legal.
Eventually, confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina.  

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The
North believed to be a lot stronger and more efficient than the South. The
North had an industrial economy, a large population and numerous worthy soldiers.
The North had factories of manufactured goods and immigrants were the ones who
worked there. The South believed to be superior because of the cotton industry
and that Britain would be on their side if it came to it during the war. The
South used slaves as its way of profiting and continuing the growth of cotton. The
South lived in an agricultural society where people lived on plantations, while
the North lived in an industrial society where people lived in the city.
Political issues were based on the belief of state rights versus a strong
central government. Abraham Lincoln and the north believed that the nation
could not be divided, and the South believed they could freely leave since the
union was created freely.

Some
states that stayed in the union were California, Massachusetts, and
Connecticut, while some states who joined the confederacy were South Carolina,
Georgia, and Virginia. The end of the civil war caused an experience and
casualties that no others had ever seen. The Union Army had 80% infantry, 14%
cavalry and 6% artillery, and 360,000 died in service. (Lecture) The
Confederate Army had 75% infantry, 20% cavalry and 5% artillery, and 260,000
died in service. (Lecture) The South lost the war because of foreign
recognition and slavery. In the end, reconstruction was to begin to rebuild the
United States and have new opportunities.

 

            Sectionalism being the civil war and
reconstruction was a success and failure in certain aspects. During the war,
black men were given a general order No.143 where 200,000 plus black soldiers
had the opportunity to enlist in the union army. (Lecture) “Frederick Douglass
realized that by serving in the army, black men would be placing the question
of postwar black citizenship on the nation’s agenda.” (Frederick Douglass on
Black Soldiers) The Reconstruction era would have two plans to move forward
from the war. Abraham Lincoln’s plan being the 10% Plan where people who voted
in 1860 would have to accept the 13th amendment and take an oath of
allegiance. The 10% plan never taking motion because Lincoln is assassinated.
Next in line would be Andrew Johnson and his plan would be amnesty for the ones
who took an oath and ratify the 13th amendment. Johnson is later impeached,
and his plans fall through. The South would be divided into war zones and military
would be sent to protect former slaves.   

Reconstruction
also succeeded in being the United States together as a union again. The
thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendment were taken into consideration
and the south would plead their loyalty. The thirteenth amendment was proposed
in 1865 and would make forced labor like slavery, illegal through the United
States. African American could now have new opportunity to an education and
voting rights. The fourteenth amendment was proposed in 1866 and would define
people born in the United States, except African Americans, as citizens. The
fifteenth amendment was proposed in 1869 and stopped all states from denying
African American males the right to vote.

The
Ku Klux Klan also known as the KKK rose during reconstruction and after
reconstruction. The group believed in white supremacy and that meant trouble
for African Americans. A group formed in 1866 and would terror African
Americans with whips and lynching. African American didn’t stand a chance
against the KKK. In the year 1874, Robert B. Elliot claimed, “equality before
the law” regardless of race had been written into the laws and Constitution and
had become an essential element of American freedom. (Robert B. Elliott On
Civil Rights) Everything African Americans worked for would go down the drains
due to the Jim Crow’s Law that were introduced. Enforced separation was brought
upon but equal facilities needed to be provided. The South was no place for
people of color.

Horrible
events would continue to happen in the southern states. African Americans were
being punished and killed for their color even though they helped in the Civil
War. The South hates the government and the North are tired of the corruption and
taxes during the reconstruction. The Reconstruction era was supposed to help massively
but overall not got fixed and all was in chaos. The Reconstruction era was a failure
in the most part.