Sample History Essays on The American Civil War

The American Civil war that was fought in the nineteenth century was the largest internal conflict that the USA faced in its history. It resulted in the death of thirty percent of all men between twenty and forty-nine in the Southern states. The war was fought between the confederate states that wanted to secede from the US and the Northern states branded the Union that did not want the country split. Slavery was the major issue in the war with the Union pushing for its outright ban, while the confederate wanted to maintain their right to own slaves and continue with the slave trade as shown below.

The fifteen slave states were Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas, while the fifteen states that did not allow slavery (free states) were Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. In order to maintain a balance between slave states and free states in congress, membership to the United States was usually done by admitting two states; one from each faction at the same time. The compromise of eighteen twenty concerned the admission of Missouri, Alabama, and Massachusetts into the union with Missouri and Alabama being admitted as slave states, while Massachusetts was a free state.

The South gained and lost in equal proportion from the compromise of 1850, as the compromise barred transactions relating to slavery in the capital city. However, it gave slave owners new freedom to pursue slaves even into free states. The compromise also stated that citizens had the duty to report slaves that they knew had escaped their owners, even if they did not support the slave trade.

The Kansas-Nebraska act changed the manner in which a state determined the status of slavery, as each state was given the power to vote on the matter. The act caused extreme division in the country and it changed the status of slavery making it independent of interference from the federal government and solely under the management of respective state governments. The Dredd-Scott ruling was a decision by the Supreme Court in which it resolved a case by stating that the African-Americans did not have the power to represent themselves in court. It was viewed unfavorably by the Northerners who saw the ruling as an encroachment of their rights.

The Kansas-Nebraska act was created as the two states were being admitted into the United States. The upcoming referendums caused many slave owners to go to Kansas to have enough numbers to change the state, which had been initially a free state into a slave state. Skirmishes started between the Freesoilers who were against slavery and the pro-slavery immigrants and lasted for four years during the time they came to be known as Bleeding Kansas. These political skirmishes showed how elections even in a fair and democratic process can lead to violence due to extreme differences in social values.

The American Civil war was fought from the year 1861 and lasted for four years, whereby almost one million fatalities were recorded making it the deadliest war in US history. The main cause of the war was the difference of opinion on slavery, with the southern states being such strong supporters of it that they preferred to secede rather than emancipate their slaves. The war is a good example of how people are willing to defend their way of life, whether right or wrong, to death and can be used as a case study in the future on how politics can lead to violence even in a fair election.