October 27, 2013
The photo I chose to write my Picture Paper on is one that I feel was a major part in United States History and depicts an important time that has helped shape the way in which we live today. I chose a photo of two men and two flags. One of them represents the northern states and the other representing the southern states. Both of them ultimately representing the Civil War, or as some like to call it: the War Between the States. There were many photos of this event that I could have chosen from. Like the battle of Beaver dam creek, the battle of Fort Henry, the battle of Fort Sumter, or many other battles from the Civil War. I chose this one because it represents the Civil war as a whole, instead of just depicting one of the many battles of the war.
“From 1861 to 1865, the American union was broken as brother fought brother in a Civil War that remains a defining moment in our nation's history. Its causes and consequences, including the continuing struggle for civil rights for all Americans, reverberate to this day. From 2 the battlefields to the home front, the cost of the war was steep...its lessons eternal.” 1 The road to the government that the United States has today was a very long road with many obstacles and battles. The Civil War is one of the most important and controversial times in American history. It was caused by the rising conflicts in ideologies, principles, and prejudices between the Northern and Southern states.
“The causes of the Civil War were complex and have been controversial since the war began. The issue has been further complicated by historical revisionists, who have tried to offer a variety of reasons for the war. Slavery was the central source of escalating political tension in the 1850s. The Republican Party was determined to prevent any spread of slavery, and many Southern leaders had threatened secession if the Republican candidate, Lincoln, won the 1860 election. After Lincoln had won without carrying a single Southern state, many Southern whites felt that disunion had become their only option, because they felt as if they were losing representation, which hampered their ability to promote pro-slavery acts and policies.” 2 Even though some of the people in the northern states believed that slavery should not be abolished, the majority of them felt that the southern states had no right to break away from the
1. "4,000,000 freed. 750,000 dead. 1 nation saved," The Civil War, accessed October 28, 2013, http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/index.htm
2. "Causes of Secession," American Civil War, accessed October 28, 2013, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_civil_war 3
Union and that the Union and all that it had stood for should be preserved. Even the northerners that were not abolitionists did not support slavery. To them that would mean that the new states entering the Union would ultimately allow southern states to control congress because they would allow slaves. Another reason why the North wanted to get rid of slavery was because slave labor would cause great competition with jobs that the workers would not be able to stand against. If the northern states allowed slavery then most of the workers would not have jobs anymore because it would be cheaper for people to have slaves, rather than pay the "white man" to do the job.
The southern people, on the other hand, did not like feeling as if they were being pushed around by the Union and therefore wanted to be their own country. “One half of all Southerners in 1860 were either slaves themselves or members of slaveholding families. These elite families shaped the mores and political stance of the South, which reflected their common concerns.” 3 A lot of the arguments that led up to the Civil War included the