What Motivated The Soldiers In The Civil War Essay

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Ever since the end of the Civil War, historians have been highly intrigued in identifying the reasons that motivated the soldiers both the northerners as well as the southerners to fight. There have been differing opinions given by historians depending on how they interpreted the reasons for why the soldiers fought in the Civil War. The Civil War holds its uniqueness both in the American history as well as the world history due to its intensity and massacre. When the war was declared, the initial impulse was merely the military rage, but in this scenario, the initial excitement did not slow down as if the men were being driven by something big. In any other war, the soldiers' eagerness would have declined with the passage of time, but in this …show more content…

McPherson in his book, For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War has identified that regardless of all other issues, the most significant factors that became the motivators for the people to join the army were a combination of duty, honor and patriotism. Both the ideas of duty and honor were "powerful motivating sources" (McPherson, p. 5) for the soldiers. As compared to what others believed, ethnic hatred and religious fanaticism were not the issue but the confederacy valued personal honor more than their lives. McPherson (p. 77) believes that "personal honor is the one thing valued more than itself by the majority of men." The Union soldiers spoke of duty while the Confederate soldiers spoke of honor that motivated them to risk their lives. This division between the soldiers was due to the fact that the Southerners held a high sense of honor and believed in holding a high public reputation whereas, the focus of the Northerners was on their own ethics and conscience (McPherson, p. …show more content…

Furthermore, "most Southern volunteers believed they were fighting for liberty as well as slavery" (McPherson, p. 20). The southerners fought for their independence and the right of their state unlike slavery being the cause of Civil War as has been highlighted in the history The Southern soldiers were strong in their belief that fighting is the only way through which they could actually preserve their Southern nation and if they backed off from the war they would "no longer have a country worthy of the name" (McPherson, p. 99). Southerners refused that they fought for slavery as they strongly believed in preserving the honor and culture of their Southern

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