The civil war is inarguably the most debated battle in literature because of the consequences and the massive of lives it caused. According to the Civil War Trust (2015), it resulted in the loss of lives of over 620, 000 soldiers. Many have thus questioned the factors that led to the eruption of the bloodiest warfare on the planet within the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in a bid to prevent the potential occurrence of a similar incident in the future. It is imperative to state that the civil war was mainly triggered by the difference on the slavery issue and led to major battles among between the states that caused the change of the Southern being separated from the Northern states.
There were many reasons for the eruption of the civil war. For example, Henretta, Edwards, & Self (2012, p. 37) point out that the warfare was stimulated by the invasion of Northern America by rival imperial models. Such nations included Holland, France, and Spain, who came for commerce, as missionaries and for colonization purposes respectively. Also, it is stated that the war resulted from the bid to create a British Empire in the United States between 1660 and 1750 (Henretta et al., 2012, pp. 66-72). This resulted in the imperial expansion that led to the use of aristocratic powers. Consequently, the Glorious Revolution started in the U.S. that was fueled by the war between invaders and the natives.
However, the main cause of the war was the nineteenth-century slavery. As stated by the Civil War Trust (2015), there were differences over slavery between the free states and the slave states. According to Capek, (2015, p. 6), the number of slaves in the United States in the 1800s had increased to over 700, 000 from 500, 000 in 1775. They were mainly obtained from Africa and African descendants who had already been established in the United States at the time. A heated debate began concerning the abolishment of human oppression. Capek, (2015, p. 6) states that the main argument for ending it was that Africans had the same rights as the whites and thus deserved equal treatment. Many abortionists then decided to fight against the importation of slaves and were backed by the 1808 congress and the Fugitive Slave Act (Capek, 2015). When incoming president Abraham Lincoln won the election in 1860, he pledged to keep slavery at bay from the slave states (Civil War Trust 2015). The president and most of the Northern people did not agree to the idea of secession though as it was thought that it would discredit the democracy at the time and lead to the fragmentation of the United States into smaller countries (Civil War Trust, 2015). Consequently, many risked their lives in trying to salvage the situation.
Major Parties Involved and the Battles
A review by the Civil War Trust (2015) identifies that the United States had twenty-two states that had both slave and free states. Another twelve were however with the Union. Among the states that eventually seceded from the Union after participating in the war were South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas (Civil War Trust, 2015). Henretta et al., (2012, p. 242) thus concludes that the difference in opinion between the North and the South states on the need for slavery was the main catalyst for the bloody war. In fact, Civil War Trust (2015) state that the seceding of the southern states was illegal and was only ruled after the war.
The civil war led to major battles in different parts of the country. Among the notable ones in the order of the highest number of fatalities reported were Gettysburg, Chickamauga, and Spotsylvania that recorded over 30,000 causalities each. Other battles included The Wilderness, Chancellorsville, Shiloh, Stones River, Antietam, Second Manassas, and Vicksburg. Among these, only Vicksburg registered a less than 20000 casualty figure with 19233 victims reported.
The Ending of the War and the Effects
Abraham Lincoln’s election to the presidency in the run of the 1860 elections, it was clear that the difference in opinion between the northern and southern states would lead to war. After the intense bloodshed, the Civil War Trust (2015) report that the southern states seceded after the Northern side won. Even though it was not legal at the time the war was in progress, this step was a major step towards ending the warfare. It was later legalized after the war with Tennessee being the last state to separate on June 8, 1861 (Civil War Trust 2015).
Upon its ending, the war brought one major change. The notable major aspect was the separation of the Northern from the Southern states (Civil War Trust 2015). This effect is still notable today because of the geographical separation of Northern states such as Ohio, Massachusetts, Alaska, Montana and Maine from the southern ones that seceded after the war.
The civil war remains a controversial topic in history especially on its cause. Despite the divergence in opinion, it is widely accepted that the abolition of slavery was key in creating tension between the Northern and the Southern states that ended up in the war. Many states participated in the war including South Carolina, Florida, North Carolina, among other states. The key battles were the Gettysburg, Chickamauga, and Spotsylvania, amid other combats. The major change was the separation of the Southern states from the Northern ones, which also constituted the solution to the end of the warfare.