Different developments in the North and South
On paper, the Union outweighed the Confederacy in almost every way. Nearly 21 million people lived in 23 Northern states. The South claimed just 9 million people — including 3.5 million slaves — in 11 confederate states. Despite the North’s greater population, however, the South had an army almost equal in size during the first year of the war.
The North had an enormous industrial advantage as well. At the beginning of the war, the Confederacy had only one-ninth the industrial capacity of the Union. But that statistic was misleading. In 1860, the North manufactured 97 percent of the country’s firearms, 96 percent of its railroad locomotives, 94 percent of its cloth, 93 percent of its pig iron, and over 90 percent of its boots and shoes. The North had twice the density of railroads per square mile. The South was at a severe disadvantage when it came to manufacturing, but the Confederacy managed to keep its guns firing by creating ammunition from melted-down bells from churches and town squares.All the principal ingredients of gunpowder were imported. Since the North controlled the navy, the seas were in the hands of the Union. A blockade could suffocate the South. Still, the Confederacy was not without resources and willpower. The South could produce all the food it needed, though transporting it to soldiers and civilians was a major problem. The South also had a great nucleus of trained officers. Seven of the eight military colleges in the country were in the South. The South’s greatest strength lay in the fact that it was fighting on the defensive in its own territory. Familiar with the landscape, Southerners could harass Northern invaders. The military and political objectives of the Union were much more difficult to accomplish. The Union had to invade, conquer, and occupy the South. It had to destroy the South’s capacity and will to resist, a formidable challenge in any war.
The Abolitionist movement in the United States of America was an effort to end slavery in a nation that valued personal freedom and believed “all men are created equal.” Over time, abolitionists grew more strident in their demands, and slave owners entrenched in response, fueling regional divisiveness that ultimately led to the American Civil War. In the 18th century, rationalist thinkers of the Enlightenment criticized slavery for violating human rights. A member of the British Parliament, James Edward Oglethorpe, was among the first to articulate the Enlightenment case against slavery. Founder of the Province of Georgia, Oglethorpe banned slavery on humanistic grounds. He argued against it in Parliament and eventually encouraged his friends Granville Sharp and Hannah More to vigorously pursue the cause.
The Missouri Compromise was a United States federal statute devised by Henry Clay. It regulated slavery in the country’s western territories by prohibiting the practice in the former Louisiana Territory north of the 36°30′ parallel, except within the boundaries of the proposed state of Missouri. The compromise was agreed to by both the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States Congress and passed as a law in 1820, under the presidency of James Monroe. The reason for the compromise was to keep the balance between the states which advocated slavery and those which did not, as a new state, which was to join the United States, would have tipped the scales too much (there was tension between different on the basis of differing views regarding the subject of slavery).
Fugitive Slave Act
The Fugitive Slave Acts were a pair of federal laws that allowed for the capture and return of runaway slaves within the territory of the United States. Enacted by Congress in 1793, the first Fugitive Slave Act authorized local governments to seize and return escaped slaves to their owners and imposed penalties on anyone who aided in their flight. Widespread resistance to the 1793 law later led to the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which added further provisions regarding runaways and levied even harsher punishments for interfering in their capture. The Fugitive Slave Acts were among the most controversial laws of the early 19th century, and many Northern states passed special legislation in an attempt to circumvent them. Both laws were formally repealed by an act of Congress in 1864.
The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century enslaved people of African descent in the United States in efforts to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists, both black and white, free and enslaved, who aided the fugitives. Various other routes led to Mexico or overseas. An earlier escape route running south toward Florida, then a Spanish possession, existed from the late 17th century until shortly after the American Revolution. However, the network now generally known as the Underground Railroad was formed in the early 19th century, and reached its height between 1850 and 1860. One estimate suggests that by 1850, 100,000 slaves had escaped via the “Railroad”.
Dred Scott case
In March 1857, in one of the most controversial events preceding the American Civil War (1861-65), the US Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Dred Scott v. Sanford. The case had been brought before the court by Dred Scott, a slave who had lived with his owner in a free state before returning to the slave state of Missouri. Scott argued that his time spent in these locations entitled him to emancipation. In his decision, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, a staunch supporter of slavery, disagreed: The court found that no black, free or slave, could claim US citizenship, and therefore blacks were unable to petition the court for their freedom. The Dred Scott decision incensed abolitionists and heightened North-South tensions, which would erupt in war just three years later.
Formation of Confederacy
Formed in February 1861, the Confederate States of America was a republic composed of eleven Southern states that seceded from the Union in order to preserve slavery, states’ rights, and political liberty for whites. Its conservative government, with Mississippian Jefferson Davis as president, sought a peaceful separation, but the United States refused to acquiesce in the secession. The war that ensued started at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, on April 12, 1861, and lasted four years. It cost the South nearly 500,000 men killed or wounded out of a population of 9 million (including 3 million slaves) and $5 billion in treasure.
Causes of the Civil War (1861-1865)
Slavery, the Dred Scott Decision, states’ rights (struggle between the states and the federal government over power), the Underground Railroad.
Developments and outcome of the war
The American Civil War, 1861–1865, resulted from long-standing sectional differences and questions not fully resolved when the United States Constitution was ratified in 1789. With the defeat of the Southern Confederacy and the subsequent passage of the XIII, XIV and XV amendments to the Constitution, the Civil War’s lasting effects include abolishing the institution of slavery in America and firmly redefining the United States as a single, indivisible nation rather than a loosely bound collection of independent states.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” The Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Northern control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union military victory. Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it captured the hearts and imagination of millions of Americans and fundamentally transformed the character of the war. After January 1, 1863, every advance of federal troops expanded the domain of freedom. Moreover, the Proclamation announced the acceptance of black men into the Union Army and Navy, enabling the liberated to become liberators. By the end of the war, almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union and freedom.
This visual piece is a USCT (United States Colored Troops) recruitment poster. The USCT consisted of 178 regiments or 178 000 men, making up around 10 percent of the Union army. The unit was active from spring, 1863 to autumn, 1885. Many soldiers of the USCT fought vigorously and fearlessly, being a great example to the white troops who had thought of them as nothing more than slaves. In total 15 USCT soldiers even received the Medal of Honor. However, partly because of their boldness, the casualties in the USCT where 20 percent, which was 35 percent higher than that for White union troops (around 15 percent). All in all I think this recruitment poster is the perfect visual piece for this movie, because the movie also talks about a colored unit in the Union army and very well depicts the bravery of the colored troops in the fighting there and respects their sacrifice.