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A Nation Torn Apart. Civil War : Social and Political History of Civil War War’s effect on South War’s effect on North Emancipation Disunity and Tensions. Early part of Civil War . Beginning of war in society Time of optimism on both sides Patriotic sentiments on both sides Celebrations

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A nation torn apart l.jpg

A Nation Torn Apart

Civil War:

Social and Political History of Civil War

War’s effect on South

War’s effect on North

Emancipation

Disunity and Tensions


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Early part of Civil War

  • Beginning of war in society

    • Time of optimism on both sides

    • Patriotic sentiments on both sides

    • Celebrations

    • Rush to volunteer

    • Eager to fight

    • Romantic notions of war in 1861

    • Why this optimism?

    • Why early support for war on both sides?


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Military Battles 1861-62

  • July 21, 1861 – First Battle of Bull Run – victory for Confederacy

  • Union learned lesson from this battle

    • Not as easy to win as they fought

    • Foreshadowed tough battles ahead

    • Advantage in resources but England also had advantage in resources at start of Revolutionary War


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Military Battles 1861-62

Both sides stressed importance of the West – attacks on Indians (fiercer than before and this would continue for decades after)

  • Coastal war by Union naval forces

  • Union remained in control of New Mexico

  • 1862 – Tennessee victories for Union (Grant)

  • Battle of Shiloh – no clear victor but both sides suffered tremendous losses – 24,000 total killed out of 100,000 total

  • Robert E. Lee in Virginia to counter McClellan’s Union forces

  • Lee’s victories in Virginia after McClellan withdrew

  • Jefferson Davis wanted to get European recognition of Confederacy

    • Tried to force war into the north, into Maryland and Kentucky

    • Offensive failed


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Military Battles 1861-63

  • Between 1861 and 1863, the Confederacy won a number of important Civil War battles, including the war's first major engagement, the First Battle of Bull Run.

  • Lee did not always succeed, however. His two attempted invasions of the North were stopped at Antietam and Gettysburg.

  • 1863: Grant moved down the Mississippi River and took the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, an action that effectively cut the Confederacy in half. Another victory at Port Hudson on July 9 gave the Union control of the Mississippi River from Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico.

  • These victories, combined with the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg, seemed to foreshadow the Union's ultimate victory, but the South was not ready to surrender. The Confederates won a desperate victory in the swamps of Chickamauga in September 1863, then laid siege to Chattanooga in November.

  • After three separate attacks, Grant broke the siege on November 25, paving the way for William T. Sherman's devastating March to the Sea in 1864, a campaign that left much of Georgia in ruins.



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Gettysburg

  • We will be learning about Gettysburg from final projects of a few students.


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Military Battles 1864-65

  • The last year of the Civil War was marked by devastating losses on both sides as the contest dragged on to its bloody end.

  • General Ulysses S. Grant, supreme commander of all Union armies by late 1863, decided to engage his Confederate counterpart, General Robert E. Lee, in a direct challenge in Virginia.

  • Grant assigned General William T. Sherman the task of subduing the Deep South by destroying Confederate general Joseph E. Johnston's Tennessee Army and capturing the industrial stronghold of Atlanta. Sherman and Johnston first clashed at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain on June 27, 1864. Despite losing 3,000 troops to Johnston, Sherman continued to push toward Atlanta. By late August, the Confederates were cornered in Atlanta, and on September 2, the mayor surrendered the city.

  • In November, Sherman began his March to the Sea, devastating huge portions of Georgia before taking Savannah on December 21. Sherman's troops marched through South Carolina and captured the ruined city of Charleston—already evacuated and burned in anticipation of the Union advance—on February 18, 1865.

  • Near the end of 1864, Confederate commander John Bell Hood attempted to distract Sherman by attacking Union forces in Tennessee. Hood won a victory in Franklin on November 30, but was crushed when he tried to take the heavily fortified Union position at Nashville in December.


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Military history 1864-65

  • In Virginia, Grant began his Overland campaign (May–June, 1864) to capture Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy.

  • Unlike previous Union generals, Grant never backed away from Confederate commander Robert E. Lee, even when faced with compelling losses.

  • During the Overland campaign, the Union lost more than 60,000 men at battles like the Wilderness (May 5–6), Spotsylvania (May 12–18), and Cold Harbor (June 3), where 7,000 Union soldiers fell in the space of half an hour.

  • Undaunted, Grant pushed on toward Richmond. He led his army to Petersburg, 20 miles south of the Confederate capital, and laid the groundwork for a siege that would last almost a year.

  • Lee tried to draw Union troops away from the city with a surprise attack at Cedar Creek in October, but General Philip Sheridan launched a crushing counterattack and held the field. Petersburg collapsed in April 1865, and Richmond followed soon after.

  • On April 9, 1865, Lee formally surrendered to Grant at the Appomattox Court House, bringing the four-year war to an end.


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Political, Social and Economic histories of the Civil War

  • Battles are taking place in the country, on people’s property, on town streets

  • War disrupts everything in society – social, political and economic structures

  • Many ideologies are questioned or challenged

  • Race, class and gender

    • Role of African Americans during war

    • Role of working class – supplying the war effort and begin to demand labor rights

    • Role of women – new responsibilities and jobs during war




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War in the South:South Transformed

  • With the success of Union Navy in 1861, slave society is greatly threatened

  • Approach of ships, many planters abandoned land and fled

  • Confederate forces tried to round up slaves, but it became impossible

  • Slaves thought the Union navy was there to rescue them Runaway salves flocked to Union soldiers

  • Union army, in 1861, is not fighting a war on slavery so there was confusion and debate about what to do

    • Did not formally acknowledge slaves as free

    • Began to enlist slaves into Union army

    • Confusion over how to treat freedmen

    • Finally, decided to treat them as contraband – thus, they did not have to be returned but they were still viewed as property


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Southern society during war

  • Disruptions in civilian life

  • Challenged and changed long-held beliefs and traditions

    • Preference for local and limited government

    • States’ rights was a formative ideology of Confederacy but soon realized that state governments were weak and realized need for strong, centralized government

    • Centralization under Jefferson Davis

    • By 1862, spirit of volunteering had died down

    • April 1862 – first draft law in American history enacted by Confederate government

    • Mandated switch from cash crops to food crops – drastic change in farmers’ lives

    • Compelled industry to work on government contracts and supplying military


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Southern society during war

  • Confederate nationalism

  • Culture and ideology of nationalism in an area strongly opposed to nationalism

  • Forge own symbols and identity – to create their own history

  • Flags, songs, language, seals, school readers

  • George Washington as Confederate symbol – believed they were the side fighting for liberty and freedom

  • Defense of slavery as benign, protective and idea of faithful slave was at heart of nationalist sentiment


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Southern society during war

  • Role of women during wartime

  • Clerks and other Confederate officials in towns and cities had always been males

  • Now, “government girls” staffed bureaucracy

  • White women gained new public responsibilities during war

  • Wives and mothers now headed households and performed “men’s work”, raising crops and livestock

  • In cities, white women found jobs denied previously

  • Female school teachers

  • Nursing and other war-related duties


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Southern society during war:Life on Homefront

  • Cities, towns, factories – large increase in investment in infrastructure in South to supply war

  • Mass poverty

  • Farm families lost their breadwinner to the war

  • Women demanded end to war

  • Draft of one craftsman could disrupt entire town – sparsely populated – blacksmiths, physicians, wheelwrights in high demand

  • High inflation

  • Inequities in the Confederate Draft

    • Greater class divisions

    • Could pay for substitutes if you were drafted

    • “Exempted from military duty anyone holding at least twenty slaves”

      • Why?

      • First time poor whites and free blacks fought issue together

      • Fear of class warfare

  • War magnified existing social tensions in Confederacy


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War in the North:Northern Economy and Society

  • North disrupted as well

  • Factories and social organizations rallied to support war

  • Federal government gained more power

  • Industrializing society in north

    • War encourages even more industrialization

    • High productivity

    • Northern farms and factories benefited and prospered during war (unlike south)

    • Idealism and greed


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War’s effect on Northern economy

  • Northern firms lost southern business and Southern debt became un-collectable

  • Shortage of labor due to army enlistment

  • Textile mills, farms and other businesses vital to government’s war effort

  • Wartime partnership between business and government

  • Iron and steel production greatly enhanced

  • Complementary relationship between agriculture and industry – buy machines to do labor on farms

  • Northern farm families whose breadwinners went to war did not suffer as much as southern families


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Northern society during war

  • Economy is prosperous in North

  • Not everyone benefited equally (is this any surprise?)

  • Industrial workers

    • Jobs plentiful but inflation high

    • Not livable wages

    • Decline in standard of living

    • Lost job security


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Northern society during war

  • Labor issues in North

  • New union activism

  • Unions formed by skilled craftsmen

  • Unions also formed by unskilled workers and women

  • High number of strikes

  • Employers viewed this activity as a threat – blacklists of union activists

  • Strikebreakers hired from blacks, immigrants and women who could not find jobs elsewhere

  • Despite labor activity and protests, businesses in North profited considerably from war effort


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Northern society during war

  • Lincoln and the expansion of Presidential power during wartime

  • Far more than in the War of 1812, Lincoln expanded Presidential power, often without authority, and set precedence for increased power of President during war

  • Examples: suspended writ of habeas corpus in Maryland, repeatedly invoked martial law, used war department funds to fund political allies in state elections


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Northern society during war:Life on homefront

  • Union Cause - Northern morale high for first 2 years of war

  • Support to preserve Union – an abstract idea, but at the time meant the preservation of a social and political order that people cherished

  • Women took on new roles (as in the South)

    • Middle and upper class women managed soldiers’ aid societies

    • US Sanitary Commission – nutritional and medical aid to soldiers

    • Nurses

      • Had to fight for position

      • Clara Barton fired in 1863

      • Professionalization of medicine and many male physicians did not want women’s aid

      • Civil War nurses left long legacy of supporting the professionalization of nurses and established nursing schools


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Emancipation

  • Varied, diverse group of Union supporters

    • Contradictory - Materialism and greed alongside idealism, religious conviction and self-sacrifice

    • Not all abolitionists Why did we end up with emancipation during war?

  • Lacked clarity of purpose of war (on both sides)

    • Not really sure why we were fighting

    • Unsure of purpose, but needed to convince citizens that war was necessary

  • Slavery issue avoided at first

    • Davis wanted to unite south and feared that slavery would ignite class conflicts and belief that war only being fought for rich slaveholders

    • Lincoln did not want to antagonize border slave states and he hoped that a pro-Union majority would assert itself in south

    • Lincoln believed raising the slavery issue would undermine a quick end to the war

    • Lincoln needed to keep new Republican party together – not all abolitionists

    • No northern consensus on slavery


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Emancipation

  • Personally, Lincoln believed slavery wrong but politically not ready to enforce this

  • Attacked by many abolitionist groups for not being a strong supporter

  • 1861 – Lincoln proposed that states consider emancipation and federal government would provide monetary support


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Emancipation Proclamation

  • Julian, Sumner and Stevens in House and Senate strongly believed in emancipation

  • Passed Confiscation Acts whereby the Union could confiscate “property” from the south

  • Used to capture slaves and set them free

  • Lincoln opposed to act

  • Lincoln’s first priority was to save the Union; slavery came second

  • September 22, 1862 – Lincoln issued Emancipation Proclamation

    • On Jan 1, 1863, all slaves in states in rebellion would be emancipated

    • *All areas under Union control or still part of the Union were exempted from this – slavery was not outlawed everywhere in the nation


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Emancipation Proclamation

  • On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which effectively freed slaves in the Confederate states and allowed blacks to join the Union Army.

  • This popularized version of the document depicts newly freed African Americans enjoying their new-found freedom. They are shown entering public schools, collecting wages, and waving goodbye to slave masters.


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Emancipation and the Union

  • Emancipation Proclamation

    • Did not deal with status of freed blacks

    • Only emancipated slaves where he had no power to enforce it

    • Ambiguous document

  • Legally ambiguous, but it was a powerful moral and political document

    • Abolitionists thrilled – war against slavery now

    • Lincoln could perform a balancing act between reformers and conservatives in support of Union

    • Slaves and newly freed slaves celebrated

    • Symbolic measure – redefined Civil War in public opinion to be war against slavery

  • June 1864 – Lincoln gave support to constitutional ban on slavery

    • Thirteenth Amendment – passed in 1865

  • Who freed the slaves?

    • Does Lincoln deserve title “Great Emancipator”?


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Soldiers’ lives during war

  • Experienced first war in modern sense

    • New technology – rifle, new type of bullet

    • Higher death rate because of new weapons

  • Soldiers

    • Young, average between 18-21

    • Small towns and farms

  • Life in the military

    • Benefit of new canned condensed milk

    • Blankets, clothing and arms often poor quality

    • Hospitals in poor condition at first – remember lack of sanitation

    • Many soldiers died from disease

    • Extensive network of hospitals did come into existence

      • White and black female volunteers


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Soldiers’ lives during war

  • Learned war was not glorious

  • Saw death and destruction for first time

  • Violence, bloodshed, horrible conditions

  • Yet, developed deep commitments to each other and to their task

  • Developed deep bonds among soldiers

  • Their fellow soldiers became their family


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African American Soldiers

  • Union Army

  • Racism strong within Union forces

    • Refused to fight alongside black soldiers because “we are too superior a race for that”

    • Given high death rate and need for troops, black soldiers allowed to enlist

  • Experience of war also changed some minds about racial ideology

    • Saw black soldiers fight nobly

      • Elevated opinion of blacks’ abilities

      • Officers stated “I know that many of them are vastly superior to those who would condemn them to a life of brutal degradation”

      • “remarkable aptitude for military training”

  • Black troops crated this change in sentiment through their own actions, dedication and strong commitment to the Union cause

  • Sought to abolish slavery and demonstrate their equality

  • 54th Massachusetts cavalry


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War and US Society:Disunity, Tensions, Debates

  • South, North and West

  • 1864 and 1865

  • Time of growing discontent on both sides

  • Northerners and southerners opposing war

  • Revealed social pressures in all areas of nation

  • Why?


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Disunity, Tensions, Debates:South

  • Southerners felt cost of war more directly than northerners (economic costs – resources, industry, etc)

  • Southern class system threatened Confederate cause

  • Remember past discussions – class issues plays a large role and after three years of poverty and economic pressures, class issues come to forefront


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Disunity, Tensions, Debates:South

  • Planters upset with government – taxes, burning of fields, talking slaves for the army

  • Centralizing policies unpopular

  • Many southerners upset with conscription – saw it as illegal and unjust

  • Farmers upset being forced to switch from cotton (cash crop) to food crops

  • Food Riots in South

  • Desertions from Confederate Army

  • Peace movements

  • Active dissent and non-support of Confederate government took over many towns in South

  • Did North win war or did Southerners stop fighting?


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Disunity, Tensions, Debates:North

  • Peace movements developed in North as well

  • Opposition to increasingly centralized and powerful federal government

  • Desertion rate in army high

  • Lincoln had more contact with citizens and sought to reach out (Davis didn’t) and helped to lessen some dissent

  • Wartime protest largely political

  • Democratic party as party of peace and blamed Lincoln and Republicans for war


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Disunity, Tensions, Debates:North

  • Draft Riots in North (especially in New York City)

  • Draft became law in 1863

  • Draftee could pay $300 or provide a substitute to get out of serving

  • Who was forced to serve?

  • Urban poor and immigrants

  • Racial, ethnic and class tensions all contributed to violent draft riots in July 1863

    • Immigrants felt targeted

    • Poor could not afford to avoid draft

    • Workers afraid of inflow of black labor from South


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Disunity, Tensions, Debates:West

  • Civil War of a different kind on Great Plains and in the Southwest

  • Full-scale war by union army against Indian tribes to eliminate Indians from Colorado (Colonel Chivington (Into the West – we saw him justify the attacks because his soldiers needed to do something)

  • Sand Creek was supposed to be safe haven as told by US government but Sand Creek was attacked (this is where Margaret’s husband died) “Sand Creek Massacre”

  • How did this connect to Civil War between North and South?

  • No region of country left untouched by Civil War


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United States Civil War

  • Surrender at Appomattox

  • Financial Toll: over $20 billion

  • Death toll: over 620,000

    • Casualties on both sides over 1 million

    • 360,000 Union soldiers died

    • 260,000 Confederate soldiers died

    • More soldiers died in Civil War than in all wars combined until Vietnam

  • Human toll: immeasurable


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Legacy of Civil War

  • Fundamental battle over nature of the United States and nature of liberty itself

  • Did liberty extend to all people? What was liberty based on? What was personal liberty? Race, class, political representation – many issues at stake

  • Altered Americans forever

  • Changed Americans’ perception of themselves, of war, of society, of the nation

  • What has been the legacy of the Civil War?

  • Are we fighting any of the same battles today?


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End of Civil War

  • With the end of the Civil War, what happens to the country?

  • What happens to the hate, resentment, disunity, labor issues, racism and various other tensions within and among the North, South and West?

  • How does the country once again become a United States of America?

  • How is the nation Reconstructed?


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