1. What were the main secondary causes of the Civil War? In the year 1860, the people of America believed that they were happiest and luckiest people across the globe however, the Civil War brought in a new era in the history of America the importance of the result is that it brought slavery in the US to an end. However, the politicians in the south and the north in the course of this war never believed the liberty of slaves to be the major concern of the war. When discussing the causes of the Civil War, there are two aspects that are taken into consideration: primary causes and secondary causes. The election of President Abraham Lincoln is considered the primary cause. On the other hand, the secondary causes of the Civil War were a complex chain of political, factional and socio-economic disparities evidenced between the North and the South, the most important of these being the states’ rights.
2. What were the main objectives of both sides? The efforts of the Union war did not only expand to incorporate reunification but rather sought to ensure that slavery was abolished. In order to make sure that emancipation was achieved, the Union was forced to invade the South. The North needed to overcome the Confederate armies occupying the South. The Civil War started with the North was battling to have reunification and the South fighting for independence. However with the progression of the war, the Civil War slowly became a political and socio-economic revolution with unknown repercussions.
3. What were the main strategies of both sides? The two sides had their own strategies, the northern states sought to bar southerners from accessing the goods they required in the course of the war. They closed the ports situated along the Atlantic and the Mexican Gulf as to bar the south from transporting their cotton to Europe. In addition, they dominated the Mississippi River in order to divide the confederacy down the middle. The North also sought to capture Richmond which was the headquarters of the south. The south on the other hand opted to prepare and anticipate attacks from the North; their strategy was to weaken the opponent’s army, however it backfired. The south opted to cut off the supply of cotton to Europe hoping that Europe would assist them in exchange for products but Europe decided to look elsewhere for cotton. The lack of demand for cotton caused insufficient funds to pay for weapons and maintain their armies.
4. List the major battles, who won them, and why? •In 1861, South Carolina launched attacks on Fort Sumter. The Union was defeated by the Confederacy during the First Battle of Bull Run. • In 1862, the Confederacy was defeated by the Union at Shiloh and Antietam. •The Emancipation Proclamation was given by Lincoln in 1863 with the Union overcoming Confederacy at Gettysburg. • After Fort Sumter was conquered in 1861, preparations for war were cleared by both the north and the south. The north had an economic edge given that almost all the factors in the country were situated in the northeast states and those found in Mid-Atlantic. Furthermore, the Union has almost double the population of the south, therefore a larger population of youths serving in the army.
5. How did the South start out with the upper hand? There are different reasons why the south started off with the upper hand. Immediately after the start of the Civil War, the US navy created a blockage that cut off the income of the south from cotton exports however the south could compensate for all these disadvantages. In addition they had numerous strategic advantages which in essence accorded them the upper hand. For instance, most of the experienced military leaders in the country came from the south. Moreover and most of the military colleges in the country were also in this territory. Though the Union ran through a number of generals before getting a few efficient leaders, Robert Lee was there for the Confederacy together with his commanders from the onset. Furthermore, they took charge of the Mississippi River Delta with Union committing a lot of resources to capture it.
6. What were some of the mistakes made by the North? Just like the south, there are mistakes that were made by the North in the course of the Civil War. One major mistake that was made by the North was the fact that they underestimated the south, by doing so they failed to recognize the threat the South posed in the war. Most important is the fact that the north lacked effective commanders at the start of the war; it has always been tradition in battle that a victorious army will be led by a skilled and experienced commander. However, this never seemed to be the case for the north at the beginning of the Civil War. It was only after Grant took over leadership that the North began to achieve success. Though his methods were extremely inhuman, he had knowledge of the fact that this war could not be fought as was done in the past, attributed to introduction of advanced weapons.
7. How did the North turn the war around? During the year 1863, there were major doubts over the ability of the Union army to overcome the Confederate soldiers in the South. In addition, when the Confederate commander Robert Lee led the soldiers to a major triumph at Chancellorsville, the North became more anxious. However, the same year marked a major turnaround in the Civil War, at the beginning of July 1863; the Union soldiers won two major wars. In the west, their successful conquest of Vicksburg, Mississippi allowed them to establish control over the whole stretch of the Mississippi River. Towards the East, the Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg compelled Lee to leave his efforts to take the war to the North. These victories motivated the union soldiers across the nation; they increased public support for the administration of Lincoln in the North, though opposition to the policies of the president remained strong among most northerners.
8. List what Catton highlights as the most important themes of this era (be brief). • The Clash of various armies Confederate High-water mark The destruction that resulted from slavery War of politics that aggravated the war, The standoff between the east and west, two economies that were created during the war • Hope and victory for the African- Americans
9. What were some of the more surprising elements of Catton’s book to you? What did you learn from the book? The most surprising part elements of the book were the length of time American public took to gain interest in the war. The Civil War shaped our country and the American people did not fully appreciate those who lost their lives during the war until after. Americans are most fascinated with the drama of the story and the unfortunate human cost of the war. On the 17th September 1862, more soldiers were killed and fatally injured in the Antietam Battle than in any other war in the 19th century. I liked that this book followed a timeline and really gave insight on the troops and generals.
10. What would YOUR thesis be for this era? Write a thesis statement of at least three sentences that presents your argument for the era. The civil war that shaped America waged between 1861 and 1865. The country was torn ripped apart was primary as a result of slavery concerns even though there were other issues that the North and South could not agree on since the 1872 revolution. Those in the north feared that the individuals who were pro-slavery had the most control in government and those in the South were afraid of losing control of the forces that were against slavery. Even though the war seems to have started because of the slavery, it was mainly about economic repercussions.
11. List what you believe to be the most important themes of the era. •Slavery Freedom Economic future of the America (The states to the south were making tremendous changes in their life without using slaves as the source of labor. Those in the south believed that if elected, Abraham Lincoln would limit their rights to be slave owners. Most southern states opted to secede rather than drop their economic systems.)
12. What do you think were the major, immediate consequences of such a tortuous war? The country was reunited while the southern states were never permitted to secede; the south was put under military rule and separated into military districts. The southern states had to apply in order to be readmitted to the Union; the federal government became supreme. This was in essence a war over the rights of states and the abolition of slavery. Though slavery was never terminated officially till the ratification of the 13th Amendment, the slaves were freed after the conclusion of the war. The plan to reconstruct America following the war started, industrialization started due to the increased wartime production and introduction of new technologies.