TEACHING THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

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					     THE COMING OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL
                                         WAR
THE RISE OF SECTIONALISM AND COMING OF THE WAR
   COMMON INTERPRETATIONS OF CAUSES OF THE
                                     WAR
• Early Interpretations Reflect Sectionalism
  – North blamed Southern greed and slavery (John Draper)
  – South blamed misunderstanding caused by northern
    materialism versus gentle values of South (Edward Pollard)
  – Copperheads blamed extremists
• Later Professional Historians Broadened Arguments
  – “Scientific” Progressive historians rejected regional bias,
    sought answers in cultural differences (Edward Channing,
    Charles Beard) or interest in the West (Turner)
  – Southern historians focused on “States Rights” (Frank
    Owlsley)
  – Consensus historians argued that Copperheads were correct
    (Kenneth Stampp)
                        THE RISE OF SECTIONALISM

• Argument Popular with Early Southern
  Historians and Progressives
  – Argues North and South, and even West
    distinct cultures and economies
    • South cash crop agricultural, Jeffersonian ideology,
      aristocratic values, slave labor force, rural society
    • North commercial and industrial, Hamiltonian ideology,
      Puritan values, free labor, urban society
    • West livestock and grain agriculture, Jacksonian ideology,
      independent, family labor, frontier society (D. H. Fischer)
  – The differences created cultural, economic,
    and political divisions during the Antebellum
    Period
Map of Sections
                           Slavery

Average Slave field
hand value rose from
$200 in 1800 to $600 in
1859. At any given time
only 25% of whites
owned slaves but non-
slave owners still made
use by renting or using
the slaves at the bigger
plantations to prepare
their crops for market.

http://www.innercity.o
rg/holt/slavechron.html
              Examples of Slave Related Issues
• Northwest Ordinance (1787)
   – http://earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/milestones/ordinance/
• Missouri Compromise (1820)
   – http://civilwar.bluegrass.net/secessioncrisis/200303.html
• Webster-Hayne Debate (1830)
   – http://www.constitution.org/hwdebate/hwdebate.htm
• Wilmot Proviso (1846)
   – http://dig.lib.niu.edu/message/ps-wilmotproviso.html
• Compromise of 1850 (1850)
   – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2951.html
• Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852)
   – http://www.harrietbeecherstowe.org/
• “Bleeding Kansas” (1855)
   – http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h84.html
• Dred Scott Decision (1857)
   – http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/D/1851-1875/dredscott/dredxx.htm
• Harper’s Ferry Raid (1859)
   – http://www.iath.virginia.edu/jbrown/master.html
                                   Tariff

•Northern support for tariff
protected their new
industries/jobs and was
another means of raising
federal funds.
•Tariff of Abominations
   –First Threat of Secession by
   South (1828)
•http://www.arches.uga.e
du/~mgagnon/students/4
070/04SP4070-Burns.htm
                    Internal Improvements

•Southern River
systems provided easy
and cheap
transportation.
Westerners and
Easterners wanted
federal funding to
build roads, canals,
and railroads.
•National Road (1806-
1818)
•http://www.nps.gov/
fone/natlroad.htm
                             National Bank

•Northern industrialists
and commercial interests
wanted a central bank to
regulate the money supply.
Westerners and
Southerners were
generally against a
national bank.
•Jackson’s Veto of the 2nd
Bank of the U.S. (1832)
•http://www.whitehouseh
istory.org/04/subs/04_b_
1832.html
                                Expansion
•Southern farming
techniques and westerners
demand for cheap land
conflicted with Northern
industrial attempts to
secure cheap labor
•Examples
  –Louisiana Purchase (1803)
  –Missouri Compromise
  (1820)
  –Annexation of Texas (1845)
  –Oregon Treaty (1846)
  –Mexican-American War
  (1848)
  –Gadsden Purchase (1853)
•http://edtech.kennesaw.
edu/web/westward.html
                                    States Rights
•Southern fears of the larger
population in the North and
Jeffersonian ideology that
argued democracy worked
better with smaller population
led them to fear the central
government
•Examples
   –Virginia and Kentucky
   Resolutions (1798)
   –South Carolina Exposition and
   Protest (1828)
   –Popular Sovereignty
•http://www.civilwarhom
e.com/wheelercauses.htm
                                     Cultural Differences
•Nothern Culture represented
as money hungry, and exploitive
of workers. Seen by
Southerners as mercenary and
cowardly. Northerners believed
they were more humane and
industrious
•Southern Culture represented
as abusive and violent.
Northerners felt they were
ignorant and lazy. Southerners
felt they represented aristocratic
values.

•http://www.olemiss.edu/
depts/south/
                                Extremist Reactions

•Some scholars argue that
the war was caused by a
minority of extremists who
drove the country into
conflict over minor issues
•Examples
  –Calhoun and Nullification
  (1828)
  –Bleeding Kansas (1855)
  –Caning of Charles Sumner
  (1856)
  –Harper’s Ferry Raid (1859)
•http://www.pbs.org/wgb
h/aia/part4/4p2940.html
                                Lincoln’s Election

•Lincoln is seen as being
too extreme and his
election forced
Southerners who would
have accepted any other
candidate to secede.
   –Won a minority of the
   popular vote
   –Demonized by the South as
   “Black Republican”.
•http://valley.vcdh.virgini
a.edu/outlines/election.ht
ml
                             Ft. Sumter

•In April of 1861, Abraham
Lincoln decided to
challenge the siege at the
fort, conducted by P.T.G.
Beauregard, by sending
the Star of the West with
supplies. Southerners
argued this was an
unnecessary provocation
and fired on the fort.
Northerners believed the
South fired the first shot
and the war was in self-
defense.

				
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posted:12/2/2011
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