The Civil War Was a War of Aggression That the Northerners Launched in the Name of Emancipation
Although the American Civil War achieved emancipation objectively, it was essentially not about the freedom of slaves but an unconstitutional and aggressive war launched by the North. The northerners used slavery as their excuse to conquer the South.
Just like Abraham Lincoln addressed in his speech in Baltimore, “We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing”, the North and the South always had different understanding on liberty and freedom during the Civil War (doc. 92, p. 300). Because of the different definitions of freedom and the different interpretation on the Constitution, the North and the South had been keeping arguing on the issues of the state’s rights and the federal government’s power for decades. The disagreement on the future of slavery was just a specific example of their debates. In fact, the southerners believed in state’s rights and insisted that the Constitution gave their rights to decide whether to emancipation or leave the Union freely, while the northerners insisted that slavery was a violation to the Constitution since it clearly states that “all men are created equal” (doc. 89, p. 292).
The northerners themselves were not really care about the rights of black slaves. In a northern civil war solder’s letter, that soldier admitted that he believed anti-slavery was harmful to democratic and thought Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation was a serious mistake (doc. 87, p. 287). Also, there were many northern democrats disagreeing the emancipation because they claimed that free slaves would damage the rights of white people and thus violate the Constitution (doc. 88, p. ...
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... “liberty won by white men would lose half its luster” (doc. 90, p. 294).
Therefore, the disagreements between the North and the South was due to the different understanding of the Constitution, and the reason why the Union fell apart and the southern states seceded form the Union was also their different interpretations on the Constitution and equal rights. Slavery was just a specific example of such disagreements and different understanding. The Southern did nothing wrong nor illegal according to the Constitution, but the northerners used emancipation as their excuse to launch a war in order to conquer the South and to ensure the federal government’s power. What they did to the southern people during the war was against their words and truly unconstitutional. Thus, the Civil War was actually a war of aggression launched by the North under the name of emancipation.
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