Civil War Dbq

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America has always been defined by its political freedom and expressiveness, at the cost of intranational conflict. During the 1800s, The United States was in a constant state of political disagreement. The north and south fought on several topics, mainly the expansion of slavery. However, these arguments were about more than just slavery. They were arguing not only slavery, but the ideals and specific principles that America has been based upon since the foundation of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. This culminated in a full-fledged civil war between the union and eleven southern states that had seceded from the union to form the confederacy. While the primary cause of the Civil War was slavery, the period before and the …show more content…

Following the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, many southern states feared that the government would begin to enforce more federal laws that would override many state laws, such as slave ownership. This potential rise in federalism led many southern states to contemplate secession from the union. The first state to officially secede was South Carolina on February 4th, 1861. They were followed by six more states, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, who would eventually make up the Confederacy. Although the Constitution has no clause allowing secession, it also does not have a clause forbidding it. In Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address, he states, “I hold that, in contemplation of universal law, and of the Constitution, the union of these States is perpetual....It follows....that no State, upon its own mere motion, can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void; and that acts of violence, within any State or States, against the authority of the United States, are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances. I, therefore, consider that, in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken”. In this quote, Lincoln states that he views the southern states’ attempt of secession as a threat to the continuity of the Union, and also a …show more content…

This phrase took on a new meeting during the civil war, because as the war turned to one over the morality of slavery in the United States, one has to touch on the unalienable rights that are given to all men, and decide whether such rights apply to the black man as well. As Lincoln said in the Gettysburg Address, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”. Here, Lincoln argues that slavery violates the American value of equality, as African Americans are subjected to unfair treatment under the rule of the Confederacy. As the war became more about slavery, Lincoln finally acted upon his beliefs and put into act the Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation stated that freed all the slaves in states that opposed the union, which includes the Confederacy. Although it did not free all the slaves, as it was difficult to enforce, it achieved its goal of making the war a war over slavery. Slavery as a whole was not official declared illegal in the United States until after the war, when the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified by the states. The passing of this amendment marked the end of the war over slavery, and finally gave African Americans equal protection under the law of the Constitution and the values of equality of the Declaration of

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