USA's Division into Two Different Societies by the Civil War

3398 Words14 Pages
USA's Division into Two Different Societies by the Civil War

The traditional interpretation of the American Civil War holds that

the states of North America had become divided into two camps

representing two very different societies by the 1860's. These

societies had little common ground, with different economic and social

infrastructures and were divided by the issue of slavery. This

argument claims, therefore, that slave states and free states were

bound to come into conflict since the north and the south were

'divided across a fault line delineated by the institution of slavery'[1].

The conflict indeed became a Civil War in 1861, fought between two

separate geographical regions, with most northerners on the side of

the Union and most southerners on the side of the Confederacy. Even in

some cases, such as in Kentucky and Missouri, the war divided families

and brother fought against brother. However, some historians have

challenged this traditional interpretation of the Civil War. For

example, recent revisionist historians such as Susan-Mary Grant claim

that historians writing on the Civil War in the past often exaggerated

the state of the Union and overemphasise how weak it was before the

outbreak of war. She claims that although the north and the south had

their differences, the union was not as divided as previous historians

made it out to be and, over time, the image of the Civil War has been

distorted to overemphasise the differences between the two sides.

The popular view of the American Civil War is that it was fought

between a progressive and modern society in the north against a

traditional hierarchical society in the so...

... middle of paper ...

...e American Civil War

- 1997

[7] Alan Farmer - The origins of the American Civil War 1846-61 - 1996

- Page 17, 18

[8] James M. McPherson - Battle Cry of Freedom - 1990

[9] James M. McPherson - Battle Cry of Freedom - 1990

[10] James M. McPherson - Battle Cry of Freedom - 1990

[11] Alan Farmer - The Origins of the American Civil War 1846-61 -

1996 - Page 19

[12] Peter Batty & Peter Parish - The Divided Union - 1987

[13] Peter Batty & Peter Parish - The Divided Union - 1987

[14] Ian F.W. Beckett - The War Correspondents - The American Civil

War - 1997

[15] Peter Batty & Peter Parish - The Divided Union -1987

[16] Gary W Gallagher - The American Civil War

[17] James M. McPherson - Battle Cry of Freedom - 1990

[18] Alan Farmer - The Origins of the American Civil War 1846-61 -

1996

More about USA's Division into Two Different Societies by the Civil War

Open Document