Issues Of The Era Of Civil War And Reconstruction Essay examples
The era of Civil War and Reconstruction was one of dynamic upheaval. The nature of the entire country was challenged and altered in a short span of twenty-six years. There were many key issues during this time however three of the main ones were nationalism, emancipation, and what freedom would mean?
Issue 1: Southern Nationalism
Historian Eric Foner points out that Southern Nationalism had been growing since the 1850s. He saw their driving issues as the decreasing upward mobility for small farmers and planters’ sons, erosion of economic independence through slaves and land, and the North profiting from the cotton trade while the South incurred the debt (2011, p. 526). The election of Lincoln with his anti-slavery leanings sparked the secession of seven states. His refusal to recognize their secession was the final spark needed to ignite the Civil War
Issue 2: Emancipation
Lincoln had left emancipation of slaves off the table as a defining issue for fear of losing slave states along the border. As the war raged the two sides saw continued series of engagements without a clear trend to the war he felt emancipation could serve as a needed rallying point. In September of 1862, shortly after the Northern victory at Antietam, he gave warning to the South, “Unless the South laid down its arms by the end of 1862, he would decree abolition” (Foner, 2011, p. 550). The South refused to comply and on January 1st, 1863, he officially signed the Emancipation…