Civil War Revisionist View

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For generations, historians have been grappling with what the exact cause was behind the Civil War. The two most common views among historians are vastly different in what they believe the cause was. Some historians, known as having an orthodox view, believe that inevitable factors caused the Civil War such as slavery. Other historians, known as having a revisionist view, believe that the Civil War could have been prevented and was contingent on certain events such as the election of Abraham Lincoln. The real cause, however, of the Civil War was the orthodox view that it was just inevitably going to happen since the creation of the United States due to slavery. Slavery has caused division in the United States since the country began. This …show more content…
This view believed the Civil war was continent on certain events and could have been prevented. One of these events is believed to be the election of Abraham Lincoln. But is very unlikely because Lincoln did not even make it obvious during the famed Lincoln-Douglas Debates that he wanted to abolish slavery. Lincoln is quoted saying
A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free…I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.
The key phrase in this speech is “One thing or the other” meaning he was not adamant on making the United States all free. In his wording of this he could have been open minded to making the entire country open to slavery. He just believed it needed to be one thing. Therefore, the revisionist view that a specific event caused it such as Lincoln’s election is
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The [essay] differs from those of the fundamentalists by focusing less on the intensifying conflict than on the capacity of politicians and political structures to confine it to normal political channels. It argues that the change in that capacity had less to do with the explosiveness of the slavery issue per se than with a whole range of political developments, some of which created and others of which were responses to a crisis of confidence in the normal political process. Moreover, while I agree with revisionists that the individual decisions of politicians were important in exacerbating the situation, my emphasis is less on their ineptitude or the fanaticism of agitators than it is on the mechanics or dynamics of the political system

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