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The Causes and Results of the Civil War

Causes and Results of the American Civil War
Introduction
Civil war is the war between two conflicting groups from the same nation. American civil war dates back into the history of America in the 19th century. For a period of fifteen years America experienced civil wars with the first decade in 1863 and the second one in 1915.This is in the memory of Americans as portrayed in their historical books[1]. Whereas anthropologists, political scientists and other concerned groups are concerned with finding a solution to the persistently ensuing civil conflicts, others stick to their assertiveness that human beings and conflicts are inseparable; thus, civil conflict is something that the globe may contend. Even so, there is more to it than inclining to the debate. It is indispensable that world history is still filled with incidents of civil war yet it repeats itself. This paper outlines the causes of the American civil wars and the consequences that followed this. Some of the results of this war can be felt even today.
 
Causes of the American Civil war
The major cause was the fight to do away with “the institution of slavery”. In as much as the government admitted that slavery denied people their right to freedom and liberty, it treated it as a necessary evil. The government argued that, if the Christian body did not see anything wrong with slave trade on the African coast, then it was alright[2] .The end of slave trade was never mentioned in the constitutional conventions because this issue was a threat to the nation’s peace and unity. The possibility of considering blacks equal to the whites was greatly opposed. The main reason for this was because the southerners knew that the end of slavery would result to the destruction of their economy. However, the Americans knew that slavery could not go on forever, it would come to an end one day[3] .The south was benefitting a lot from slavery considering the large cotton production. This cheap labor greatly improved the southerners economy where else the northern economy was not as good. Debates to end slavery began with Abraham Lincoln when he proclaimed that slavery would come to and end in states without federal governments. The end of slavery came in 1865 was finally declared and this was the start of civil wars. To the slaves, war meant freedom and that is why they did not hesitate to participate in fighting for their freedom[4].
As suggested by Abraham Lincoln, the southerners wanted to possess a central government which would run on its own but still remain part of America. This would come up with state rights to control the economy and probably stop slavery. It was feared that the establishment of a strong central government would deprive individual states their rights[5]. This can be closely linked to the greed and grievance theory which postulates that civil conflicts are triggered by unaddressed grievances .Most grievances are based on the facts of related to ethnicity in terms of political rights, economic equality, and religious division. In the case, where largest ethnic group has a vast population, then high chances of ethnic civil conflict are likely to occur. In a situation where people are not chosen basing on ethnic ground then, conflicts are minimal since equality principle becomes a guiding factor. The minority will resist and form rebellious groups if their grievances are not considered hence posing a threat to state stability. There are factors that could lead to conflicts and civil wars. If population increases, then high risks of conflicts arise due to competition of resources. In the American civil war, majority of the population will have control over minority on advantage of their numbers. Time has also reduced conflicts whereby the healing of past hatred between societies has been brought up by the lapse of time. More so, studies have established that the resources the rebelling groups got from donors have reduced hence it is costly to restart a rebellion. [6]
The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 boosted the productivity of cotton in the southern. Increased productivity meant sourcing for cheap labor which was why slavery was common in the southern. Agriculture was booming in the southern as opposed to the northern which concentrated on industrialization. They were dependent on the products of the southern to run their industries. The differences in economy and social lifestyle were a cause for disparity which contributed to the civil wars[7]. These differences run to date whereby the increase in Diaspora finance sources correlates with chances of occurrence of civil war. This is a major factor that played in the American civil war. Low income earning and poor living standards have been a cause in the rise of grievances. The economic instability and regional imbalance between the northerners and southerners have been a significant cause of the American civil war. Pertaining to education, the higher rate of male enrollment to education institutions lowered the chances of the American civil war .This enrollment in schools led to a reduction from 10 percent to 3 percent[8].
Results of the American Civil War
Results of war in any setting are deaths as was the case in America. At the end of the war the white southerners had most of the middle age males who were in the military dead. This occurred in the prisons, for instance during revolution after the civil war, the fate for the prisoners was not indicated. Many of these soldiers suffered and died in prison. It is estimated that thirteen thousand of them died. This reduced America’s most productive population consequently affecting the economy. With most of the people who support the economy in prison and others killed in war, the development of the economy was slowed down. The economy was also affected by the destruction of infrastructure and other resources such as the agricultural plantations. Investigations to establish why the Americans were defeated started. It gave birth to the school of interpretation for the lost cause .This group was out to come up with an explanation of the war from an American view. This would clarify the details of the war to the American future generation. The two heroes in this school were Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln. Ulysses S. Grant also tried to join this and was portrayed as the best hero, however over the years it was realized that the real “defeat hero” was Robert E. Lee. The formation of this powerful group is what has led to the modern wars in America[9]. From this illustration it is evident that the results of the historical wars of America in the 19th Century have been dragged to date.
The only positive result about this war was that slave trade was abolished and a new nation born. This was very successful because in 1863, Lincoln announced that the military was going to employ black soldiers. This was a major progress because the people who had been saved from slavery could now represent the same country in war[10]. However the end of slave trade consequently resulted in racism .After war, the country began re organizing itself politically to include the liberated blacks in the constitution. The African American memory of the way they were treated during slavery has never faded. For this reconstruction to be effected, reconciliation had to be done. Unfortunately this coincided with the justice process which made it difficult to reconcile while still establishing justice for the offended. Although reconciliation overpowered the other process, re union has never been done fully and this has often been evident in the modern times. Segregation is still there and this has led to imbalance in healing and justice[11]. When Douglass was announcing the abolition of war and preaching of peace, he stated that civil war would not end if blacks were not included in the American political body[12]. The racial politics in America will always trigger the memories of civil war.
The south received a lot of gold from cotton due to the availability of cheap labor from the slaves. The end of slave trade resulted in lower productivity and increased costs. This greatly affected the southerners because they dependent on agricultural production for their economy. This coupled with the destruction that occurred during war saw the economy go down. This was especially enhanced by the fact that the northerners did not support them politically[13]. At the present, high proportions of basic goods within national exports considerably raise the occurrence of civil war. For instance, America has many states; those with commodities that account for 32 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) possesses a 22 percent chances of increase in the American civil wars as compared to countries having low goods for exports claims a 1 percent risk. In this area, petroleum as well as non-petroleum groupings show differing results. In addition, countries with low levels of reliance, especially that relating to petroleum exports are at lower risks that those with high dependence. This relationship depends on the ease at which basic goods may be regulated. For instance, countries that are rich in terms of natural resources that are controllable like gold mines or oil, they can be able to control resources as compared to hospitality services[14]. These economic differences date back to the post civil war period.
Conclusion
Civil wars in America were caused by the differences between the North and the South. This opposition was mainly due to economic, political and social issues. All these issues stemmed from one aspect which is slavery. The fight against slavery led to the development of other causes for civil war. The effects of this war can be felt even today which is why America has restructured itself and offered constitutional rights to every citizen. In as much as these civil wars were destructive and costly to America, they have resulted into the formation of one great nation. Thanks to these civil wars Americans are now experiencing constitutional rights, political democracy, equal distribution of resources and equality. These civil wars can be regarded as a blessing in disguise.


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