Teacher Guide to the American Civil War
It has been 150 years since the largest armed conflict on American soil began and ended. The American Civil War was fought for a variety of reasons many of which are still argued and debated even in the 21st century of today. The American Civil War had one main reason that both sides agree created one of the bloodiest times in American history. The issue of slavery was a hot topic and one that engulfed the nation in military battles and subsequently divided a nation into the North and the South.
Slavery an Unnecessary Evil for North
For the North (Union) slavery was seen as an unnecessary evil and something that went against every ethical and moral form of reasoning. The Union felt so strongly against the slavery issue and for human compassion and religious beliefs that it agreed to fight. For the South (Confederacy) slave labor was seen as a very important an integral part of the Confederate economic base and the Rebels would demonstrate just how passionate they were with four years of bloody fighting.
Multitudes of Americans Lost Their Lives
Regardless of what side was either right or wrong the bottom line was that multitudes of Americans lost their lives in defending what they thought was true and just. It is far too easy for us in the 21st century of today to immediately side with Abraham Lincoln and the Union forces during the Civil War. We now understand that slavery is wrong but back in the American Civil War days the ownership of a human being by another was not seen as something that was evil and unjustified, at least in the Southern Confederacy.
Slavery was a Key Economic Indicator for South
The Civil War divided a nation that had most recently just been created in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. The belief that slavery was a key economic indicator for the Confederate States launched a war that sometimes pitted brother against brother. Many individuals still feel to this day that the American Civil War was a necessary battle and one that solidified, through a Union Northern victory, the rights of every American citizen to live life as free men and women.
Patriotism Human Rights Economics Religion and Politics in America
An understanding of the American Civil War is obtained through really getting to know the societal influences of patriotism, human rights, economics, religion and politics in America in the early to mid 1800's. The primal emotions leading to war were therefore rooted in the differences of opinion and belief between North and South with respect to those influences.
States Rights: Slavery, Political and Economic Considerations
The root causes of the American Civil War can be broken down into states rights, slavery, political and economic considerations. Slavery, while listed as a separate cause, had significant influence on the other three. An understanding of the above influences of the time will reveal, however, that slavery, while factoring into the various causes in different degrees, should not be considered the sole cause of the Civil War.
Related Teacher Resources That Are Worth A Look:
- American Civil War Timeline
- Civil War Archive
- Comparing Confederacy and the Union
- Lincolns Secret Weapon
- The Civil War