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The American Civil War

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On July 4, 1776, U.S. won it's independence from Britain and Democracy was born. The road to the government the U.S. has today was a long road with many obstacles and battles. The American Civil War is one of the most significant and controversial periods in American history. The Civil War was caused by mounting conflicting ideologies, principles, and prejudices, fueled by differences and pride, and set into motion by unlikely set of political events. This essay will discuss the important concepts leading up to the civil war, while explaining why the United States fought the civil war. This paper will also address what the civil war accomplished.

The history of the civil war began with seemingly unrelated events during America's birth of a formed country. The growth of industrialization in both the North and south regions were quite different, due to location, ideologies, and environment. While the area in the north boomed with industrialization was based on manufacturing and capitalism, the south's industrialization was based on agriculture trade. The north saw an emergence in population and a growing economy with the invention and distribution of the cotton gin, invented by Eli Whitney in 1793. This invention aided the need for cotton grown in the south, thus beginning the road to a divided country.

Because the population grew so did expansion. As more states were joining into the union, the power struggle between the slave and free states grew stronger. The Missouri compromise in 1820 helped keep the balance between the free and slave states. The Line of demarcation was a symbolic cultural boundary between the Northern United States and the Southern United States. As expansion, population and economy grew, so did advances in science and manufacturing. Steam engines came to light during this time, in the 1830s. The first track was laid

to connect New York and Philadelphia. The popularity of the train grew quickly. In 1850, 9000 miles of track had been laid

on U.S. soil. In the north, the train system was mainly used for transportation of peole from city to city, while the train was used mainly for agriculture in the south, carrying cargo and crops to and from the ports and plantations. Toll Bridges were being built at this time as well. The Charles River Bridge (1785) was the first toll bridge to be built.

The election of 1840 should have been an easy win for the Whigs. Most of the U.S. was still in a depression, which many held President Martin Van Burren at fault. Van Burren was elected in 1837 after Jackson's presidency expired. Van Burren was an anti-slave Democrat who, while shared the same beliefs as Andrew jackson, they differed in appearance, which would be a foreshadow to the changing times.

During this time of evolution, society began to change and evolve as well. Transcedentialism became popular, and authors such as Henry David Thoreau and Emmerson wrote about their beliefs and experiences as a Transcedentialist. The pursuit of this ideology was coined "The Amerian Scholar", (being well versed in every subject, as well as nature itself) as opposed to "The european Scholar" which relyed soely on formal teaching and training. Transcedentialism focused on the close connetion people had to nature. This new way of thinking opened up their minds and they felt more sympathy for those "in want", slaves, etc. The south's democratic government was built upon the trade and business of slaves, however.

Many of the northern states were against slavery. Abolition was an ever current debate among legislatures. Just as the North and South disagreed, many religious organizations disagreed on the subject of slavery as well, which caused division of religions. The Methodist church was the first to split and become the Methodist Episicipal Church, while the Baptist split into two groups, one being the Ð''Southern Baptists". In the south, slaves were african americans who worked on the plantations and farms. They concentrated in agriculture, while some worked in the towns as blacksmiths, and carpenters. In the south, the african americans were born into a caste system. They were slaves of societ in contrast to the immigrants, who were slaves to debt. In the 1840's a slave by the name Frederick Douglass was sent to Baltimore by his mistress to work on the docs. He knew how to read and practiced the art while in Baltimore. He tried to escape several times, and finally succeeded. He met a man in New York who introduced him to the Anti-Slavery Soceity. The group soon noticed his speaking skills and used him as a key abolitionist speaker. In the 1840s the want to migrate west grew. New opportunities and land looked appealing to much of the U.S. during that time. Though the road was difficult, many settlers traveled the road to Oregon and California. Many families settled in Oregon while single men braved the California terrain. In 1845 John O'Sullivan , a newspaper editor announced that the expansion into the west was the "manifest destiny - clear & unavoidable fate of the U.S. to overspread the continent."

The democrats in Congress supported the idea of expansion, and looked to The Republic of Texas as the next place for settlement. This was controversial because of the venerable balance of votes in legislature. The southern states wanted Texas to become a state with the U.S. as this move would give the south power over the northern free states in the House of Representatives. In 1845 Texas won it's vote in Washington by President Taylor's executive to become a state. Texas was on it's way to becoming a state in the union. Mexico however did not recognize that Texas was independent. Polk sends troops to Santa Anna, then further south to the Rio Grande. Soon, the U.S. and Mexico break out into war. Many northerners worried about the expansion of land and slavery and the political power that would accompany the victory over Mexico. When a bill was presented to the House for $2 million to end the war and buy California and other territories, Wilmont offered a condition that stated slavery could not be established in any territory the U.S. might win from Mexico as a result of the war. Many northern democrats saw this as a "Declaration of Independence from southern dictation, arrogance, and misrule." The U.S. had victory over Mexico, though the Mexican government argued about the terms of peace. Mexico finally signed the Guadalupe Hildago treaty that brought the debate to an end in 1848. The U.S. bought California, New Mexico and all of Texas above the Rio Grande for $15 million. In January of 1848, a large supply of gold was found in California, sparking the famous Gold Rush. Settlers came from all over the

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