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Civil War Dbq

Essay by   •  March 22, 2011  •  814 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,860 Views

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It is often observed and agreed upon that the North, known as the Union, won the civil battle against the Confederacy, the Southern states that seceded from the Union. The period of reconstruction had its advantages and disadvantages to both sides. Though the South had more change, no side was the true winner of the reconstruction.

Due to military, economic, social and political reasons, the North won the Civil war. When the war started in 1861, the North had approximately 22 million inhabitants, while the South had 9 million including more than 3 million slaves. This caused the North's army to exceed the South's by nearly three times. The Union knew that the war was in fact a war against freedom and slavery, the only way to win victory would be abolishing slavery for good. Since slavery was the foundation of Southern economy, emancipation would weaken the Confederacy and its ability to sustain the war. The first step towards freedom was the issued Confiscation Act of 1862 which liberated slaves that escaped north and those slaves in Union-occupied territories. The Union army, at that point, increased since free blacks could now become soldiers. Abraham Lincoln, president at the time, signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, which redefined American freedom. It took affect in all areas under Union control and would take affect in the South after Union victory. From then on, the Confederacy was surely weakening and losing its power. Public disaffection became a huge problem in the South and with Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg; there was a heavy blow to southern morale. In 1865, the thirteenth amendment was approved by Congress Union and slavery was abolished nationwide. Soldiers occupied Richmond, the southern capital, and a few days later, Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrenders. The war shifted power in the nation from the slaveowning planters to northern capitalists. The Union had won the war.

The period following the war, the reconstruction, focused on rebuilding the nation. More specifically, it focused on readmitting the seceded states into the Union and the condition of the approximately 4 million freed blacks that gained their freedom (Document B). The end of the Civil war brought southern blacks self-ownership, autonomous institutions, political participation and land ownership. For southern whites, there was an immense postwar demoralization. One fifth of the adult white male population died for the Confederacy. The destruction of land drained planters' wealth and privilege and lowered the property value by thirty percent from before the war. Many had also an inability to accept emancipation, arguing that freedom was a privilege. In attempt to resolve conflicts between the races and ensure rights for the blacks, the Northern Republicans created the Freedmen's Bureau agency, which lasted from 1865 through 1870 (Document H). It had achievements in education, providing public education, and in health care, however, it failed to solve the serious

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