The Civil War in the History of the USA Essay


Formation of any state is a long-term process that has its unique peculiarities and features which result from the conditions under which this very Commonwealth evolved. It is obvious that there are both happy and tragic moments that shaped the mentality of people inhabiting the country and enriched its history and cultural heritage. Besides, being a comparatively young state, the USA also has its unique features that contributed to the way it looks nowadays. However, there are still two phenomena that could be considered as the most important ones. These are The War of Independence and the Civil war. While the reasons for the first military conflict are clear, the second one needs some additional explanation as there were various motifs that pushed people to get involved in the conflict and join troops.


First of all, one should realize the fact that the representatives of the southern and northern states had different mentalities and perspectives on the way the USA should evolve. That is why the reasons and motivations were different. Oakes et al. state that for Confederate soldiers, the will to fight was conditioned by unique aspects, and they battled to protect their soil, homes, and well-being in the ways that were different from those of the Union men (Oakes et al. 419). Besides, the majority of soldiers of the South were sure that “they were fighting to preserve slavery” (Oakes et al. 419). It was the basic institution that preconditioned the prosperity and giant incomes of planters.

For this reason, slaveholders and their children wanted to protect their lifestyle and preserve slavery, which was threatened by Lincoln and his new policy. From numerous diaries and recordings, it becomes obvious that Confederate soldiers were sure that they were protecting the rights and liberties their fathers had won from the British Empire (Oakes et al. 419). At the same time, Federals also considered themselves the protectors of the US revolutionary heritage and its unique role in the world, which was to provide hope for all nations by showing them the ideals of equality and liberty (Oakes et al. 420). In this regard, it becomes obvious that both sides were highly motivated and certain that their position was strong. Additionally, the ideology mania also contributed to the increased cruelty, exasperation, and anger of people involved in the conflict.


However, despite the differences in perspectives, the majority of soldiers fought under similar conditions as both sides were totally unready for war. Troops suffered from poor organization, financing, and supply. Soldiers were paid less than a common civilian and had to serve under complicated conditions.

Reasons and battles

Therefore, Federals still managed to win because of the better industrial base and its dominance on the sea. Its naval supremacy deprived the South of incomes as it was not able to sell cotton and finance its troops. For these reasons, the South was doomed to lose. The defeat in the Battle of Gettysburg and Battle of Antietam made the situation obvious and deprived Confederates of any chances to win.


Altogether, the Civil War was one of the key events in the history of the USA. It was preconditioned by the differences in perspectives on the evolution of the state and the attitude to the institution of slavery. Soldiers fighting in both armies were sure that they protected the true US ideals and tried to preserve their lifestyles. That is why the war was inevitable.

Work Cited

Oakes, James, et al. Of the People: A History of the United States, Concise, Volume I: To 1877. Oxford University Press, 2012.

The Civil War in the History of the USA

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *