Essay about Civil War

Submitted By dyadaloh55
Words: 2139
Pages: 9

Tacoma Community College

Was the North justified in declaring war on the Confederate States?

Was the North justified in declaring war on the Confederate States?
The American Civil war was arguably the single-most defining event in United States history to date. From the time of the Articles of Confederation, to the creation of the Constitution and leading up to the American Civil war, two fundamentally different convictions divided the country. The North believed that slavery should not extend into any new territories or states and ultimately be abolished altogether. The South practiced slavery and believed that it should be extended to all new territories and states. The second fundamental difference between the two groups was the North believed in the sovereignty of the Federal government and the South believed that the individual States were sovereign from the Federal government. These two irreconcilable differences were the driving force that led to the bloodiest battle of that time: The American Civil War. Note: Although there were people and groups that didn’t agree with the convictions their “side” held too, for the sake of argument and time, the focus of this paper will be general to the “North” and “South”.
Yes. Was the North justified in declaring war on the Confederate States? The primary reason why the North declared war on the confederate states was to protect the union. It was their conviction that in order for the country to prosper, there had to be a strict adherence to the undisputed truths within the Constitution. The North believed that the constitution was the blueprint from the founding fathers on how to achieve harmony between the states, govern fairly, protect its people and their inalienable rights, promote economic growth and continue to progress and build into the future. “It [Union] represented the cherished legacy of the founding generation, a democratic republic with a constitution that guaranteed political liberty
and afforded individuals a chance to better themselves economically.” (Gallagher, Page 2) Although slavery was the manifest reason for the American Civil war, the North declared war to protect the Union. The Civil War was “for Union that also killed slavery” (Gallagher page 1). The North felt not only justified in declaring war on the confederate states, but believed it was their obligation to protect the Union even if it meant war with itself. Furthermore, the newly elected President Abraham Lincoln believed and stated “A house divided against itself cannot stand” and asserted that the United States should either be “all one thing, or all the other”. The underlining issue between the North and South was the North wanted a centralized Federal Government and the South wanted a Limited Federal Government with State Sovereignty. The country was initially founded with a limited Federal Government and state sovereignty, but the North was successful in broadening the power of the Government over the States changing the country from a Constitutional Federal Republic to a Democracy. If the North would not have waged war and the seceding states were recognized as such, the whole of what the founding fathers endeavored to create would be all for not. It was imperative that the North set a precedent that all states within the Union and all states that would join in the future would understand that state secession would be indefinitely done away with. Although states had threatened to secede and even acted upon that threat (i.e Massachusetts – Annexation of Texas) the leaders in the North understood the slippery slope that allowing secession would ultimately destroy the country. If state secession was allowed, what would stop cities from seceding from a state or a town from a county? “It has been a popular illustration from the advocates of the Union, that if a State may secede, so may a county from a State, or a town from