Carolina Academic Press, ; 2nd ed. Introduction For almost three hundred years, agriculture was the major livelihood of most residents of the American South, and the rural lifestyle was the shared experience that tied together a region that rivals most countries in size.
At the time, however, Southerners had no problem claiming the protection of slavery as the cause of their break with the Union—and the Civil War that followed. Only a small percentage of Southerners owned slaves.
The census shows that in the states that would soon secede from the Union, an average of more than 32 percent of white families owned slaves. Some states had far more slave owners 46 percent in South Carolina, 49 percent in Mississippi while some had far less 20 percent in Arkansas.
In addition, the essential ideology of white supremacy that served as a rationale for slavery, made it extremely difficult—and terrifying—for white Southerners to imagine life alongside a black majority population that was not in bondage.
In this way, many non-slave-owning Confederates went to war to protect not only slavery, but to preserve the foundation of the only way of life they knew. The Union went to war to end slavery.
On the Northern side, the rose-colored myth of the Civil War is that the blue-clad Union soldiers and their brave, doomed leader, Abraham Lincoln, were fighting to free the slaves. Lincoln was known to personally oppose slavery which is why the South seceded after his election inbut his chief goal was preserving the Union.
In Augusthe famously wrote to the New York Tribune: By the fall ofLincoln had become convinced that acting to end slavery was a necessary step. A month after his letter to Greeley, Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation, which would take effect in January More a practical wartime measure than a true liberation, it proclaimed free all slaves in the rebel states, but not those in the border slavery states, which Lincoln needed to remain loyal to the Union.
Black soldiers—slave and free—fought for the Confederacy. White officers in the Confederacy did indeed bring slaves to the front during the Civil War, where they cooked, cleaned and performed other labors for the officers and their regiments. In fact, until MarchConfederate Army policy specifically prohibited blacks from serving as soldiers.
Some Confederate officers wanted to enlist slaves earlier: Patrick Cleburne proposed enlisting African-American soldiers early inbut Jefferson Davis rejected the suggestion and ordered it never to be discussed again. Finally, in the last weeks of the conflict, the Confederate government gave in to Gen.
Watch the groundbreaking series reimagined.
We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you.Aug 29, · Most Northern states abolished slavery before the Civil War.
But recent excavations show that during the late s and early s, many of what later came to be called manors and landed estates were full-fledged plantations that held African-American slaves under conditions similar to those in the South. Ready to travel time? American history is coming to life at the only full-scale Civil War reenactment in eastern Washington this Memorial Day Weekend!
This three generation family saga of African-American life before, during, and after the Civil War, is based on the author's family history, and begins in the household of former president James Monroe at Montpelier, Virginia. Lesson 4: Life Before the Civil War.
In the decade-and-a-half prior to the Civil War, the United States saw dramatic changes in industrialization in the North, and a rapid increase in transportation (rail and steamship) all over the country.
You Found It! The WEB's most extensive collection of Slave Photographs and pictures of slaves. Before the American Civil War, cotton produced in the American South had accounted for 77 percent of the million pounds of cotton used in Great Britain.
sharecroppers, small farmers, and plantation owners in the American south had produced more cotton than they had in , and by , they exported more cotton than they had in