In this assignment, we meet two different views from two scholars concerning slaves’ settlement and distribution in the United States. These two views have been viewed and explained by Charles Dew and Marc Egnal. The two scholars have two different views concerning slavery in the United States especially in the 19th century, when it was declared illegal by the international community and later disbanded in the southern regions of the country where it was most dominant, after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
In his article “Apostles of Disunion”, Charles Dew said and explained the fact that the reason why the Southern states advocated for secession from the main central government was rooted in the disagreements that had cropped up as a result of the position of slavery in the United States of America.
The southern states therefore saw it ideal to form a coalition and form their own administration away from the northern states. For this reason therefore, he maintains that the disagreement led to the eventual American Civil War. According to Charles B. Dew, five southern states comprising of Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Alabama made a selected committee of commissioners who publicized the people concerning the secession through public media such as the newspapers and the United States’ official states publications, and by April 1861, the atmosphere was so intense with various parties holding strong and varied views towards slavery and slave trade in the southern states’ plantations
1.Marc Egnal on the other hand in his article “Introduction: Rethinking the origin of the Civil War”, critiqued that the American Civil War of 1861-64 came as a result of the numerous differences that had over time piled up between the northern and the southern states of the United States of America, and is quick to note that slavery and slave trade in the Southern States was not the cause of these misunderstandings that consequently led to a war. In Marc Egnal’s view, the northern and the southern states had over time had a lot of differences especially on the political, social and most importantly economical and administrational fronts. These differences can all be narrowed down to the political administration of the two regions, bearing in mind that the south was aligned more to the Democrats’ administration while the north was more of a republican region. As a result of the republican rule, the northern states were more economically independent especially based on the fact that most of the administrational offices were located in the northern states
2. The southern states on the other hand primarily had slaves and plantations, and for this reason, political organization was still strained and in a delicate state. For this reason therefore, the southern states led by five states including Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Louisiana selected a committee which publicized the people about forming a confederacy, and this was the early stage of the American Civil War.
Taking a critical look at these two scholars’ perceptions, it can be concluded that the Slavery in Southern American states was the main cause of the American Civil War of 1861-1864. This is because political and economical differences between the north and the southern states cannot be viewed as the ultimate reason for the fight, since the northern states in 1861 ventured into assisting the southern states gain economical and social freedom. The southern states on the other hand wanted to form their own form of Government and this they hoped to achieve by forming a confederacy promoting slavery, which the northern states disapproved, leading to a war.
Dew, C. (2001). Apostles of Disunion. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Egnal, M. (2009). A mighty empire: the origin of the American Revolutions. New York: Oxford University Press.