The Civil War

The Civil WarWhen I glance over the world history book, I find it?s a very interesting thing that the U.S has experienced twice Bourgeois Revolution while Britain only has had once. It?s known to all that in the U.S the first bourgeois revolution is the War of Independence though which America has won the national independence. And the second is the Civil War. It is the latter that has really cleared the path for the rapid growth of capitalism and has made America a most powerful country in the world. It can be seen from this that the Civil War is an important chapter in the American history book. It?s necessary to recall the past.Prewar:

The Civil War broke out in 1861 and ended in 1865. During this four years the war cost America 618,000 lives. As to what caused the war, there are several reasons.

After the War of Independence economy developed very quickly because the U.S got rid of the control of Britain. And also during this period it expanded its territory from east to west, namely along the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast. Though the way of purchasing, annexation and forcible occupation the U.S obtained a lot of area. This is known as the Territorial Expansion. During this period a large group of people moved to the west area and lived there. This was a good opportunity to develop

capitalism and industry quickly there. This is another important event in American history?-the Westward Movement. It was these two events that aggravated the principal contradictions between the Northern states (herein N-states) and the Southern states (herein S-states) in the U.S?-the contradiction in two different kinds of economic system, which had already existed in America. The one in N-states was Industry and Commerce while the other in S-states was Slavery (which was also a kind of capitalism but obviously different from that in the N-states.). As we all know that after the War of Independence economy developed very quickly in the N-states. The capitalism grew up in a quite good environment. On the contrary, farming or plantation still remained its important place in the S-states. And even they kept the slavery valid while the N-states had all outlawed slavery by 1830. In 1860 industry in the N-states ranked fourth in the world. Output value had reached 1,880,000,000 dollar. At the same time the S-states owned 4,000,000 slaves. Compared with the N-states, the S-states developed more slowly. This unbalance between two regions led contradictions. The four principal contradictions are shown as following:

Resource: The N-states wanted to protect resource

The S-states sold resource to other countries (mainly Britain).
Market: The N-states needed to sell more products to develop capitalism.

The S-states bought products from Britain.
Tax: The N-states wanted to higher tariff rate to protect industry

The S-states wanted to lower tariff rate.
Labor Force: The N-states needed more labor forces.

The S-states kept a great number of labor forces (black slaves)
And now with the development of the Westward Movement a new problem was arisen that it was necessary to keep slavery in these newly established states valid or not. Obviously all of these had been the obstacles to the rapid development of capitalism. Later slavery became the focus of all of the contradictions. When Abraham Lincoln, who was against the Slavery was elected president of the U.S, this contradiction reached the climax. The S-states broke away and formed a new nation, the Confederate States of America. At the same time Lincoln made up his mind to maintain the Union. So in 1861 the Confederate States of America declared war upon the Union. Civil War broke out


It is known to all that the Union won the war. But at first they didn?t get the upper hand over the war. Because the Confederate States of America had made a good plot while the Union underestimated the prospect of the war. So at first the Union was at a big disadvantage. Here I had to mention Abraham Lincoln again. In my point of view he has brought a radical change in the war. He promulgated two decrees " Homestead Act" and " Emancipation Proclamation." The former said: " a person who has worked on this land for five years can obtain 160 acre land after paying 19 dollar." The latter declared everyone was equal. The black men were set free. The two

decrees obtained people?s support, especially the support of the black people. After the declaration of ?Emancipation Proclamation?, hundreds of black people took part in the Union?s army. Later the Union defeated the Confederate army at Gettysburg. This victory was the turning point of the Civil War. And then Lincoln made such an address .?..?-that this nation, under god, shall have a new birth of freedom?-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.? (Abraham Lincoln, the Gettysburg Address) The Gettystburg Address encouraged people. So it can be seen from this that all he had done had a great effect on the war. Finally the Union beat the Confederate States of America. On April 9,1865 the Civil War come to an end. But this didn?t mean that all was over. Five days later Lincoln was assassinated. I think the Confederate States of America was doomed to failure. There are various reasons:

First it lies in the Slavery itself. It was crude in nature. The black people were treated badly. Obviously it was out of date. It is a saying that " a just cause enjoys abundant support while an unjust cause finds little support." Sooner or later it must be replaced by capitalism.

Second it lies in the actual strength between two armies. Just as I have mentioned above compared with the N-states, the S-states developed more slowly. The N-states were stronger in every aspect such as in army force and equipment although at first the S-states got the upper hand.

Furthermore it lies in the leader. The Union had a good leader?-Abraham Lincoln while the S-states didn?t realize how important it was. (Please refer the overleaf for detailed information.)

Now let?s pay attention to what has the war brought to the U.S.


After Civil War the United States made a great progress in every aspect such as in industry and agriculture and so on. This was because:

First just as I have mentioned above Civil War is the second Bourgeois Revolution in the U.S. It has paved the way for the rapid growth of capitalism.

Second from then on the U.S was reunited. It created a stable political environment.

Last but not least the black people obtained freedom after the war. This provided efficient labor force to the development of capitalism.

As the Civil War is the second bourgeois revolution in the U.S, I think it is necessary to make a comparison between the Civil War and the War of Independence.


Cause: The development of capitalism was hindered before the wars.

Nature of the wars: Both were bourgeois revolutions. And I find that American people adopted the form of fighting in these two wars.

Influence: Both promoted the development of capitalism.

Besides all of these similarities there are some differences between these two wars.

Difference in causes: As I have mentioned above the main cause was that the development of capitalism was hindered. But the colonial control of England led the outbreak of the War of Independence while the conflict between two economic systems in its own country led the outbreak of the Civil War.

Difference in nature of the wars: Although both are bourgeois revolution the War of Independence was also a national liberation movement.

The U.S enjoys a high status in the world and plays an important role in the world affairs. How can a country that used to be a colony become the most powerful country in the world? I believe no one will deny that the Civil War is quite important chapter in American history book. I can see the benefits that the Civil War has brought to America, of which I think the rapid growth of capitalism and the freedom of black people are two most important ones. But I should point out that the Civil War doesn?t thoroughly do away with the racial discrimination, which is still a serious problem. Nevertheless no one can deny that the Civil War is a very important chapter in American history.

The Civil War 8 of 10 on the basis of 2714 Review.