From 1860 to 1865, the United States faced one of the most divisive events in its history, known as the American Civil War. The war pitted families, neighbors, and friends against one another, resulted in high rates of casualties, and ended slavery in America once and for all. Much debate about the war and precisely what it meant for America has occurred since the time. President Abraham Lincoln once referred to the Civil War as a “new birth of freedom” in the United States, however the war more closely resembled the last fight of the American Revolution.
Though the Civil War occurred nearly eighty years after the American Revolution, the two wars have several distinct commonalities. First and foremost, the ideals behind the Civil War mirror those behind the American Revolution. The Patriots broke off from England initially because they did not believe Britain had the right to tax them without representation in Parliament, but their small struggle for lower taxes became a full scale battle for independence and freedom. Similarly, the Confederates in the Civil War fought for fair treatment from the government, as well as the right to keep their slaves. Each group contained stubborn gentlemen of tradition and honor who simply wanted the government to leave them to their own business, but felt oppressed. Similarities between the two conflicts emphasize the link that makes the Civil War a continuation of the American Revolution, rather than a “new birth of freedom.”
Out of the American Revolution came a new government and a new Constitution, meant to grant freedom and equality to all American men. Unfortunately, the Constitution’s famous line “All men are created equal,” became a grey area when it came to slavery in th...
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...appears, this time complicating sectionalism and expansion that could have been solved during the American Revolution.
President Lincoln made it clear that he would not stand for slavery in America, and upon his election in 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union. The Civil War that followed became one of the bloodiest and most devastating events in the history of the United States. The entire war may never have happened if the founding fathers had settled their opinions of slavery when they founded this country. Instead, they chose to settle the issue by claiming that an African American counted as three fifths of a person, even though the Constitution claims equality for all men. They simply caused more issues than necessary for themselves, and caused an extended American Revolution in which the country went to war with itself.
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