Whenever conflict arises the initial reaction from most people would be whether or not it was preventable. People can invent many concepts on how a war could have been prevented, but at the end of the day these issues still appear and remain unsolved. Moreover, when conflict continually occurs and history continues to repeat itself it shows that these disputes are inevitable. In the case of The Civil War, The United States quickly became a nation divided. The Union was composed of two separate halves that had completely different social, economic, and political mindsets which overtime led to a tug-of-war of opinions, so when The South slowly started losing its voice in congress it had to do something to get heard. They had to secede from the Union.
The Southerners were raised with slaves being a part of everyday life, therefore, when The North started pushing anti-slavery ideas it stirred up conflict with The Southerners. Imagine growing up on a cattle farm and suddenly being told that herding cattle is inhumane and that it should be outlawed. It would not settle well with you. That is exactly how The Southerners felt about slaves. That was what they grew up with, having slaves was part of their culture and their way of life, and having that taken away in their eyes was completely unreasonable. Which is what the “Lost Cause” is based around. It is an interpretation of The Civil War from the point of view of The Confederates. History has many sides and to only see one leads to ignorance. However, at the end of the day, right or wrong the war was inevitable and was merely a speed bump on the road to freedom. “It [the Civil War] was a heroic struggle; and, as is inevitable with all such struggles, it had also a dark and terrible side. Very much was done of good, and much also of evil; and, as was inevitable in such a period of revolution, often the same man did both good and evil. For our great good fortune as a nation, we, the people of the United States as a whole, can now afford to forget the evil, or, at least, to remember it without bitterness, and to fix our eyes with pride only on the good that was accomplished” – Theodore Roosevelt. The War was too monumental to simply be split into black and white, or good and bad. It is a complex and tangled web which made it so inevitable in the first place. To try to make a single side the villain in history is the exact reason the war became what it did.
Some say that “the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War.” Such as White House Chief of Staff John Kelly did on a Fox News Program. With the fierce politics of the decade and popular sovereignty paving the way for Bleeding Kansas, the government was promoting the perfect environment for battle. However, if The South was more open to the idea of abolishing slavery like Britain and other global powers, a war resulting in the death of 620,000 American soldiers could have easily been avoided. New inventions such as the cotton gin would have been able to make up for the labor lost by the abolishment of slaves and new industries could be manufactured. If the South was willing to let go of their old ways and embrace the change the nation would have had the opportunity to be in a better state. The industrial revolution could have paved the way for slave owners to not only release their slaves, but make just as much of a profit without them. The Northerners already accepted the way of industry and have been loyal to it even in the face of trouble and depression. Moreover, The Northerners keen sense for industry was one ability that helped them win the war. However, industrialization today is the cause of major problems in the world, such as global warming and pollution. So to say which side has done the most harm to mankind is something we will have to wait to figure out.
Much like any other dispute ways of preventing it seem possible, however, a compromise between two opposing sides is rare. History has proven not only through the Civil War that humans have one way of solving problems and that is through fighting. Through studying and writing about The Civil War I have learned to see a story through many different points of view. I have also come to realize how blessed I am to be of mixed race and how different my life would be without the Civil War and the strides made after it. Although The Civil war led to the biggest death toll of any war America has participated in, it helps and will continue to help people learn from past events and make better decisions on current events such as global warming, water pollution, and many other major issues. The Civil War, although inevitable and devastating, is very valuable and has helped lead America into what it is today.
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