American Civil War (1861 - 1865 years) - war between the abolitionist states of the North and the eleven slaveholding states of the South. It was the inevitable consequence of the contradictions between the two social systems in the country. The basis of these conflicts was the issue of slavery, which entirely determined the economic and political interests of the planters.
American Civil War and its causes
Before the Civil War the planters had unlimited power over their slaves. The latter, in turn, were forced to live in the most brutal and unacceptable conditions. Because of this attitude the slaves often died from exhaustion, starvation and torture, which often served as punishment for even the slightest infraction. According to Raleigh Kung (2004), in the South, however, the attitude toward slavery gradually changed to the extent that it increased the dependence of the local economy on cotton growing which required a widespread forced labor. It is possible to say that the southern states before the Civil War epitomized the political and social center of racism. The most aggressive political circles of the South wanted to introduce slavery in the United States economy. The progressive North considered it as an atrocity towards humans. The southerners deliberately restrained the development of fair capitalism and by all the forces opposed to the new currents from the North.
In 1860 Abraham Lincoln from the Republican Party was elected as the U.S. president. For the Democratic Party, which was very strongly influenced by the slaveholders, it meant the loss of power on a national scale. Opposing the extension of slavery, Lincoln nevertheless declared the policy of non-interference in the affairs of the states where it has already been legalized. In response to Lincoln's election the slaveholders announced the release of southern slave states from the Union of states and started preparing for a Civil War. In February 4, 1861 the slave states declared the establishment of an independent state - Confederate States of America (Confederacy), with its capital at Richmond. The President of this Confederacy was elected Jefferson Davis. According to James Mcpherson (2011), in April 13, 1861 Confederate troops captured Fort Sumter (South Carolina), and then U.S. President Abraham Lincoln declared the Confederates as rebels. The Civil War in the U.S. began.
In the first 2 years of war, the southerners often won. Their army was better organized and had more qualified officers. The Army of northerners was commanded by General Ulysses Grant and the Army of Confederates - by General Robert Lee. The Government of Lincoln initially was aimed only to speedy reunification of the country and was afraid to proclaim the abolition of slavery. The northerners did not take Negroes in their army. In May 20, 1862 a Homestead Act was passed, which allowed anyone to get for $ 10 a plot of land of 160 acres (65 ha) in the West. Only in January 1863 the northerners proclaimed the abolition of slavery throughout the United States. This contributed to a turning point in the war, because the blacks joined to the side of northerners and began to take an active part in hostilities against the southerners.
The decisive battle between the armies of northerners and southerners was held in 1863 under Gettysburg. The victory was gained by the Army of the North. James Mcpherson’s (2011) study found the following: In 1864, Grant was appointed the commander of the Union forces. In May, under his able leadership northerners held a series of bloody battles against Lee's army, completely having exhausted southerners. Meanwhile, General Sherman, replacing Grant on the western front fought across Georgia, besieged Atlanta, surrendered in September 1864, and made his famous "March to the Sea." The Confederation territory was divided into two parts. The tactic of the North was to take the Confederacy in a tight circle and thereby isolate it from Europe, which would help to significantly limit its resources. As a result, the area was taken in the blockade. All southern ports were eventually captured and forts on the Mississippi defeated. The South of the country lay in ruins.
Consequences of the Civil War for America
Raleigh Kung’s (2004) study found the following: The war ended with the victory of the army of the North, and therefore with the elimination of slavery. Negroes got a personal freedom but not economic. Now they were forced to lease land from their former masters. In April 14, 1865, five days after the end of Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. However, he could not prevent conflicts that followed the defeat of the Confederacy. Getting a chance for rebuilding, the southern states hastened to legislatively restrict the rights of the black population. This has led to anger of a Republican majority in Congress and they declared a Reconstruction of the South program. The southern states were forced to accept the nominal equality of former slaves and only in the 1870s. they gained a freedom of action, but, despite the law, made every effort to restore the "white power".
Meanwhile, the U.S. has entered into an era of unprecedented economic growth. For a couple of decades vast new territories with their rich natural resources have been mastered. A lot of settlers came to the "Wild West", and in 1890 the western boundary approached to the Pacific Ocean coast. By 1900, the population increased to 76 million. Technical innovations appeared one after another such as typewriter, telephone, phonograph, car and airplane. An important role in economic development played the federal and local authorities, by subsidizing the construction of the railway network and assigning to settlers the land plots by Homestead Act of 1862.
Occurred as a result of the Civil War the development of capitalist relations has also contributed to the rapid development of industry. This development has accelerated by the fact that in the goldfields of California were found large deposits of gold. There were created considerable capitals, which then were invested in the industry. All these factors have gradually eliminated the obstacles to the development of American capitalism. From 1850 to 1870 the U.S. industrial production has quadrupled.
The U.S. Civil War decided the fate of the country and its economic system. Democratization of American society, the free development of capitalist relations, and protection of private property rights became the basis of origin of international economic relations in the United States.
Part 8 The American Civil War 1860-1865. http://www1.whsd.net/courses/H0169/AP_United_States_test_prep/Part%208%20The%20American%20Civil%20War%201860-1865.pdf
James Mcpherson. (2011). A Brief Overview of the American Civil War.
Raleigh Kung. (2004). Causes & Effects of the Civil War.