Slavery and the Civil War


The growing opposition to slavery in 1776 to 1859 was a large factor that led to the Civil War. Although the argument that the debate between “States and Federal Rights” also caused the Civil War, the opposition of slavery was a larger factor due to new territories in the west, prevalence of social reform, and anti-slavery writings.

In Document 1, the speaker explains that an ideology has been growing with the people of America. That ideology is that every man is born free and equal, regardless of individual characteristics. This ideology would be the driving force for the North and start the Civil War. The author’s purpose was to persuade the court to abolish slavery in Massachusetts, stating that it is against the natural rights of mankind to own/have slaves.

In Document 2, it shows the years and how they incorporated emancipation in the North. States like Massachusetts and Vermont have Emancipation in their state constitution, while states like New York and Rhode Island have emancipation state laws. This will create a larger divide between the North and South, because the North had these laws while the South did not. This will create alliances and commonalities between the north states and the south states. It also showed the addition of the west to the US, which sparked arguments over how the West will contribute to the North and South in terms of Free and Slave states. Many feared that the West will overturn the tide for Free and Slave states, unbalancing the United States.

In Document 3, the Author writes about how more and more African Americans are migrating from the south to the north for greater freedoms, that there are more than 2,000 African American people in this one town. This will also spearhead the Civil War because it is showing the Northern States that African Americans want their freedom, and the northerners will be more and more inclined to go to war for their freedom. The point of view of this document is a Northerner seeing all of these new free African Americans, and learning of the terrible conditions they were in, and gaining a drive to fight for their freedom.

In Document 4, it states that there are more free people of color in the US, and that it is rapidly increasing. It also states that the people of color must be unhappy with their conditions in the south, and that they must fight for their freedom and happiness.

In Document 5, the Author shows how enraged they are about the horrible practice that is slavery. That they will organize Anti-Slavery societies and will attempt to overthrow and wipe out the “stain” that was upon our nation that was slavery. This document shows how angry some people are about slavery, and that they will go to war for this. 

Frederick Douglass, who was an escaped slave that fought for the end of slavery during the Civil War. In document 6 it shows the life Frederick had as a slave, and his experience that had him believe that there is freedom out there, and that he should fight for it. This rekindled a drive for him to allow him to escape, while allowed him to become a prominent activist and public speaker against slavery. His writing also inspired many people of the North to fight for their freedom, because it opened their eyes to how cruel slavery was.

In Document 7, it shows an advertisement for Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which was an anti-slavery novel. This novel is known for laying the groundwork for the Civil War and lead the North on a path to end slavery. 

Something like the slaves during this time was the Natives during the colonization of the Americas. The Natives had a similar experience to the natives, except they never really had a successful war like the Slaves had in the Civil War.

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