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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.
"TEACHING THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR"