The civil war was a brutal time between the northern and southern states of America in the year 1861. The war was mainly started over the rights of states, the states did not like how much power the federal government seem to have over them. The South felt over powered by the North, so they split from the northern union and wanted to become their own union. At this time slavery was a huge issue that the north and south disagreed on, since the north was voting for freeing the slaves and the south wanted to keep slaves it caused a lot of tension between the two. The civil war was clearly different from any other because this was one country split in half and fighting against itself. The war between the two sides was ultimately inevitable because their ways of life were completely opposite. This was one of the most brutal wars that caused for a lot of lives to be lost and in the end the North won, abolishing slavery. The civil war had a greater impact on America than any other war in history.
Just one event did not cause the civil war. Many events led to this brutal time in history. The south felt overpowered by the north, their different ways of life caused them to disagree a lot, and the one major thing that really pushed all this tension over the edge, slavery. And so, the civil war began. It was the union (north) against the confederates (south). The war wasn’t expected to take four years. Many people believed it would be a quick and easy war but that it was not. “The Civil War had a greater impact on American society and the polity than any other event in the country’s history. It was also the most traumatic experience endured by any generation of Americans” (McPherson). The civil war tested the strength of everyone involved. It was a huge moment in history for the United States of America.
A lot of lives were lost during this violent war, as a professor of history at Princeton University writes, “At least 620,000 soldiers lost their lives in the war, 2 percent of the American population in 1861” (McPherson). Two percent may not seem like a lot but if that same percentage of people died today it would be more than 6 million. Both blacks and whites fought and lost their lives during the war. At first blacks were not allowed to fight in the war, but as the war went on and the number of white volunteers were decreasing eventually the government removed the ban and allowed blacks to fight. The following quote is from an African-American social reformer, Fredrick Douglass, “Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letter, U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pocket, there is no power on earth that can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship” (Black Soldiers…). It is well known that blacks were not treated equal and yet they still fought for their country, they went out and fought for what they believed in even though there was a chance all their effort could have been for nothing. Although it is sad that so many lives were lost, their bravery did not go unnoticed. And the efforts of every person that fought in that war led to great things for America.
The war had a great impact on America. The country became better because of the war. It was a long and hard battle, brothers against brothers and father against son. However, the war didn’t destroy America, it helped rebuild it. Sometimes you just must tear something down and start it all over to make it what it should’ve been from the start.
The Civil War confirmed the single political entity of the United States, led to freedom for more than four million enslaved Americans, established a more powerful and centralized federal government, and laid the foundation for America’s emergence as a world power in the 20th century.
Though freedom did not lead to equality for former slaves, the Civil War initiated immense constitutional changes that re-defined the nature of American society and acted as a point of departure in the struggle for equal civil and human rights (Consequences).
The War had both positive and negative impacts. A lot of people died, which is clearly the negative side, but out of the war came a stronger, more stable, and overall better country.
The article A Brief Overview of the American Civil War states, “While the Revolution of 1776-1783 created the United States, the Civil War of 1861-1865 determined what kind of nation it would be.” America was created based on the declaration that all men were created equal and yet they had slaves. It was time to determine if Americans were going to stand for what they believed in or just be a bunch of hypocrites. When the North won the war, the nation became what it was meant to be, the land of the free, it stood for what it said it would and slavery was no longer legal in America. The end of slavery was one of the biggest impacts of the war that led America to be a great country.
The civil war didn’t just impact the people back then, it also has an impact on our lives today. The following eight things are all impacts of the civil war. Thanks to the civil war we have ambulances and hospitals, during the war each side had teams of doctors trained by textbook and they had “ambulances” to run wounded soldiers to the field hospitals. Before the war healthcare was received at home, but after the war hospitals started to pop up from the idea of the battlefront field hospitals. America soon became known as the land of opportunity. The changes made after the civil war opened a lot of doors for Americans, eventually other people saw that as well and immigrants started moving to America. With all this new opportunity the United States started to have major economic growth. Because of the war, we even have a tradition of welcoming each summer with a tribute to fallen soldiers. The first memorial days were group events organized in 1865 in both the South and North just a month after the war ended and quickly evolved into an annual tradition. The way we communicate through technology is also a result of this time in history, it was clear that communication back then wasn’t great and could be easily misinterpreted leading to a lot of issues. After the war people began working on advancing technology to help with the issue of long distance communication. Another thing that changed for Americans after the civil war is how we identify ourselves. Today people go by either democrats or republicans, before people identified as Whigs or Free soilers. But the fight against slavery caused people to form groups and the names republican and democrat arised. The community even became more involved with war, before what happened within a war was only known by those that were apart of it. The people outside of the war didn’t get much information on what was going on until it was over, and their loved ones didn’t come home. Now we stay updated on what is going on, we can know where everyone is and where we stand as far as how far along the war is and things like that, the community is aware of what is going on without even having to leave their home, the news keeps us very well updated. We even have certain rights that were added back then that are considered sacred now, such as the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. These amendments banned slavery, allowed everyone born in the U.S. to be considered citizens and gave people the right to vote no matter their race. And finally, a very important impact of the war, we are all Americans. It took a war to make us one nation. Ever since the Civil war no matter what battles we faced we were and are all Americans (Towner).
The Civil war was an essential time in American history. It made the United States of America what it is today. It not only impacted hundreds of thousands of lives back then but it still has a great impact on all our lives today. A lot of great things that happened to our nation are because of the civil war, it was a brutal time, a time where people probably thought that nothing good would come of it. But as Americans do, we rose up and we became better and stronger. We became true Americans.