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A country divided

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The main signs of division in the U.S. began to show in the early 1830’s after the abolitionist movements and also after the Mexican war which resulted in a lot of land acquisition. There was difference in interests over the use of the new acquired land which resulted in tension mounting. Slavery which also intensified later on also fueled division between the Northern states and the southern states. These issues characterized the beginning of the civil war because the two sides had differences in economics and culture. The northern states were for the abolitionists movement lead by William Lloyd who was against slavery although the southern states so no problem with the practice because they were benefiting greatly from the trade in their farms.

            Cheap or free labour was among the reasons they did not want to do away with slavery. They thought that the aim of the northerners was to spark slave revolts (Dred, 2007). Efforts to solve the division resulted in compromise to form free states but this efforts were futile. Most politicians in the South opposed this efforts led by John Calhoun. However the main cause of division was the vast land that had been acquired in the Mexican war. The southerners wanted the land be allocated for farming of cotton while the Northerners ion the other hand wanted more free states. This heightened differences for both sides.

            The American civil war took place between years 1861 and 1865. It was a war aimed at preserving the Union which was the U.S. There was difference in ideas as to the role which the formed federal government was to play. Some believed that the federal government was supposed to maintain power (Bruce & James, 2007). This believe was popular among the federalists. The non federalists on the other hand believed that states should maintain more power and have the right to determine its own laws and thus should be allowed to act independent of federal government’s mandate. At this time when the rights of states where being passed, there was a lot of disagreements on major issues of taxation, slavery among others. This period was characterized by hatred and protests against laws regarding slavery (Woloch, 2008).

            Slavery however came to an end eventually after a long struggle and events characterized by violence and killings. The ending of slavery was an important milestone in ending the war because most issues were based around slavery such as land issues. Efforts to end slavery were many some including publications that showed negative effects of slavery in America. Such publications include Uncle Toms Cain by Harriet Beecher which was received with optimism and became a best seller. Bills such as the Kansas Nebraska bill allowed for sovereignty which was popular although it caused most southerners relocate to Kansas to make it a slave state. This activities however sparked issues that led to the sacking of pro slavery vigilantes.

            Later on Abraham Lincoln came to power due to his anti slavery efforts although he did not use this as a tool to win. Southerners did not like this at all and there were fears he was to be assassinated (Woloch, 2008). He however assured the nation that he would settle most of the nation’s differences. He even responded to attacks by South Carolina by initiating a naval blockade of southern ports reducing the chance of the south defeating the North. He however meet a lot of resistance which made changes in tactics necessary to ensure American Liberty. He waited for a military victory which happened in 1862. Events afterwards lead to the destruction of the southern economy and the death of Lincoln after he was shot dead. This marked the end of the civil war.

            Andrew Johnson took over in 1865 but failed to satisfy congress. Some Republicans plotted to remove in from power which eventually worked out. Ulysses S. Grant was later elected President in a bid to reconstruct America. He was an honest man but gullible which made his administration corrupt. His rule did not last long. Republicans decided to strike a one term deal with Rutherford B. Hayes a republican candidate in 1876 that would make sure he did no turn out like Grant and ensuring that he would end corruption and promote reconstruction. This lead to a famous compromise in 1877.


Bruce Catton, James M. McPherson. (2007). The Civil War‎. England: Mariner books.

Dred Scott. (2007). Fight for freedom: Africans in America. Retrieved on October 20, 2009  from

H., & Woloch, N. (2008). The Enduring Vision: A History of the American people. Boston:Houghton Mifflin Company.

Sharpe, J. (2009). The Civil War and Reconstruction. Retrieved on October 20, 2009, from    Boyer, P., Clark, C., Kett, J.,     Salisbury, N., Sitkoff,

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