Choose two questions from three questions

Due Discussing Questions 3 There have been volumes written about the causes, effects, and realities of the American Civil War. It is one of the most significant periods in our shared American history, in that it changed the country forever, and, also, a dark period because it marks the only time that Americans have formally turned on one another in warfare on American soil. It was the short era of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Battle of Gettysburg, which is one of the most recognizable battles ever fought as it turned the tide of the Civil War. All the same, despite how much we know, there are many myths and legends that have evolved over the years concerning this pivotal era and the war that ensued are, simply, not accurate. Much of this inaccuracy involves the institution of slavery and the slave trade. Although it remains a true crime of humanity and shameful act, it is not exactly the way the history books, television, and film would have us believe. One, particular myth is that the American Civil War was fought specifically and solely to put an end to slavery.
We have been told that slavery is a direct evil and consequence of a capitalist system, however, that is hardly true. Slavery in many forms existed long before humans kept actual records, let alone established a capitalist society. Another myth concerning the institution of slavery involves the idea the slavery was a reaction to discrimination and racism, however, race played a very small role in slavery around the world. It was not until the 15th century that slavery became specifically associated with people of African descent. One of the most common myths of African slavery is the image of Caucasian slave masters capturing and netting African natives. This may have occurred in some instances, but the majority of African slaves taken from Africa were enslaved and sold by other Africans. Many believe the United States was the greatest recipient of transported slaves; however that is not true, 90% of the slaves brought directly by ship were taken to the Caribbean. Finally is the complete misconception that once the African peoples were enslaved they became helpless and compliant. There are more than 250 different reports of slave uprising on board slave ships. These people continued to fight to maintain their freedom and later their history and culture. It was never possible for their Master’s to completely break them down (Mintz 1).
From before the Revolutionary War the colonists of new world were already arguing the issue of slavery before American was truly a country of its own. So it was a point of contention for generations before the Civil war was ever fought. The North and the South had developed into two different economies; the south relied on slave labor to produce crops of cotton and tobacco, while the North was becoming a manufacturing society. (The Sutliff Museum 1-2)The South was beginning to feel that their way of life was not being respected. The South was never going to give up their slaves willingly because they were dependent upon that labor. The South believed that the central government was placing too much pressure to eliminate slavery. They resented the interference of the government on what they considered to be an individual state issue. They resented the tariffs that the government intended to implement. The election of Abraham Lincoln was the last straw. The South believed their way of life was threatened. South Carolina was the first state to alert of their intention to “ secede” from the United States. However, Lincoln’s reasoning behind going to war had less to do specifically with the issue of slavery, but more about preserving the Union of States. It would make the U. S. look weak if it could not even maintain order and peace within its own borders (The Sutliff Museum 1-2). In fact, Abraham Lincoln had some rather controversial theories are the future of race relations. Before the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln had suggested a separatist plan. Free the American slaves and relocate them to islands off the mainland. He was not certain that whites and blacks would ever be able to successfully live together. Although slavery played a part in the American Civil War it was not the only issue of consequence, there were others that were considered of greater importance, like political stability.
Slavery, again, is one of the most shameful institutions of American, as well as, world history. The Civil War is often perceived as humanitarian war because it helped bring about the end of slavery. Sadly, it was more a war of politics, like most wars, with beneficial humanitarian outcomes; the freeing of the slaves. It can be hard to tell the difference between myth and fact, especially when discussing events where all who experienced them are deceased. Unless we could travel through time and peer into the past we may never know everything that occurred. How could we? But what is important is that we learn from the past in order to bring about a better future for all, regardless of race, creed, color, ideologies, and all the other things that make us all uniquely different.
Work Cited
The Sutliff Museum, . ” Why a Civil War?.” The Sutliff Museum. The Sutliff Museum, n. d. Web. 11 Mar 2014. .
Mintz, Steven. ” Myths and Misconceptions: Slavery and the Slave Trade.” History by Era. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, n. d. Web. 11 Mar 2014. .