Civil War Dbq

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“These are fearfully critical, anxious days, in which the destinies of the continent for centuries will be decided,” wrote one New York diarist in 1864 (Templeton). Long simmering sectional tensions reached a critical stage in 1860–1861 when eleven slaveholding states seceded and formed the Confederate States of America. Political disagreement gave way to war in April 1861, as Confederates insisted on their right to leave the Union and the loyal states refused to allow them to go. Four years of fighting claimed almost 1.5 million casualties, of whom at least 620,000 died, and freed four million enslaved African Americans.The Civil War was “indeed a time of times” in light of the fact that it altered and ultimately ameliorated the course of…show more content…
This piece from the world-famous Gettysburg Address says that “this nation, under god, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from this earth.” (Lincoln, 77). This depicts how everyone expected the Civil War to have an important outcome. It also shows how Lincoln himself wanted to unite the country, thus working toward this defining moment. “Moreover, the war transformed our country from a loose confederation of independent-minded states under a weak central government into a modern nation state”, transferring our country from sectionalism to nationalism (The Civil War Sesquicentennial). The conflict of the South’s states’ rights under a weak central government versus the North’s strong national government had been argued over since the creation of the country itself. This is seen by many as a turning point in favor of the North’s views. An interesting discovery made by Civil War historian Shelby Foote deliniates how “Before the war, it was said “the United States are.” … it was spoken that way and thought of as a collection of independent states. And after the war it was always “the United States is.”” (Foote, Remembering Civil War Historian Shelby Foote). In the simplicity of this statement there is a lot of deep meanings and is an attempt to clarify a mindset that aspired to the concept of 'We The People', but proved to be much harder to obtain. The transition from sectionalism to nationalism was a true step toward democracy and will forever change the government of our

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