Civil War Paper
March 3, 2013
Historian Shelby Foote said:
Any understanding of this nation has to be based . . . on an understanding of the Civil War. . . . The Civil War defined us as what we are, and it opened us to being what we became, good and bad things. It is very necessary if you’re going to understand the American character in the 20th century to learn about this enormous catastrophe of the mid-19th century. It was the crossroads of our being.
I think Historian Foote meant that to understand the culture and the way of life of this nation you have to know about the Civil War, why, and how it begins. Before the Civil War the country was experiencing a few changes, in the North changes in industrialization were occurring. The nation way of communication was changing as well such as a rapid increase in transportation like rail and steamship. It was also a time when the country was acquiring new territory and lifestyle differences and attitudes between North and South were becoming more pronounced.
After the war the country experiences many changes that “define us as what we are, and it opened us to being what we became”… There were changes in the economy, transportation, social, government and slavery. The country went from an agrarian based economy toward an industrial base. The economy of the South crash, a national currency and a banking system were established during the war and Cotton lost its prominence in the economy. The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the US Constitution were redefined and extended civil rights. The seeds of the Civil Rights Movement were sown. More than 4 million former slaves became citizens of the United States. In addition many slaves and free blacks fought during the war and later they were welcome to be part of the U.S. Army. The Transcontinental Railroad further united the country. The number of newspapers...