Chandra Manning 's `` What This Cruel War Was Over `` Essay

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Chandra Manning’s “What this Cruel War was over” poses the question of what the Civil War was fought over. She then introduces the argument that the war was undeniably over slavery. Using the letters, diaries and newspapers of soldiers who lived and fought during the civil war Manning explains the ways in which slavery and race relations influences the men who volunteered and fought in the civil war.
Manning begins her book with three quotations that back up her argument. The first quote is by the Thirteenth Wisconsin Infantry Regiment “the fact that slavery is the sole undeniable cause of this infamous rebellion, that it is a war of, by and for slavery, is plain as the noon-day sun”(Manning 3). Next, the white southerners of Morgan’s Confederate Brigade state “any man who pretends to believe that this is not a war for the emancipation of the blacks . . . is either a fool or a liar”(Manning 3). And her final quote is by Fourteenth Rhode Island Heavy Artillery who believe “upon your prowess, discipline, and character; depend the destinies of four millions of people and the triumph of the principles of freedom and self-government of this great republic”.(Manning 3)
Manning argues that the Civil war was nothing more than soldiers and men on both sides fighting for their interpretation of their rights. As far as the opposing sides were concerned, soldiers were fighting for their livelihood, battling those who directly threatened what mattered to them. Losing the war would…

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