American Civil War in the News is a edited review of American Civil War related news and articles, providing collection of hand-picked 1861-1865 era history.

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Causes and Origins of Civil War


Latest hand-picked Civil War news and articles.

Confederate states wrote down their reasons for secession: Number one was slavery
The declaration of secession causes by South Carolina and 4 of the 10 states that followed it out of the Union crushes the myth that American Civil War was not about slavery. South Carolina: "The non-slaveholding states ... have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery ... have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes." Mississippi: "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery."
(nytimes.com)

The industrial age brought with itself news weapons and horrors
The American Civil War was different from all the wars that predated it, primarily because it co-occurred with the industrial age. Mass production, the railroad and telegraph, aerial observation and the even more terrible weapons made the tactics of all previous wars obsolete. The generals were slow to understand this, and the soldiers paid the price. Technological advances in small-arms weaponry and artillery resulted in casualty figures disproportionately high for the numbers of troops involved. The Henry and Spencer repeating rifles reduced the classic infantry charge to a virtual suicide attack.
(wired.com)

Clash of Extremes: The Economic Origins of the Civil War [book review]
In "Clash of Extremes" Marc Egnal argues that the Civil War was caused more by economic changes than the issue of slavery. People see slavery as the cause of the civil war, because this gives them a myth that presents the history of the U.S. as the progress of liberty. A change in the economy brought about a realignment of politics along a north-south axis in the decades before 1861. A "national economy" linked the producers of the South to the manufacturers of the North, but in the 1850s this link crumbled because of the rise of the antislavery movement and the development of the Great Lakes economy.
(thecrimson.com)

Why the Civil War Was Fought - Origins of the Civil War
Many Americans still debate the origins of the Civil War in the same terms as a century ago. People say the war was not about slavery; it was about states` rights, or elemental Southern nationalism. The historian Chandra Manning has published "What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War", and it investigates what the men who fought the war believed they were about. She has looked at a letters, diaries, and regimental papers, assembling data on what 657 Union and 477 Confederate soldiers thought they were doing over the 4 years of combat. Conclusion: the Americans who fought the Civil War overwhelmingly thought they were fighting about slavery.
(americanheritage)

Civil War: Union, Confederacy and African American perspectives   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The exhibit at The American Civil War Center begins with a simple gold balance, initiating the visitor on a winding path through America's history and the 10,000-square-foot exhibit "In the Cause of Liberty." The balance symbolizes the precarious position in which ideals rested throughout its first decades of existence. "In the Cause of Liberty" aims to present the complete story of the Civil War, from its ideological origins through the horrible years of bloodshed to the legacy we still live with today.
(richmond)

10 Causes Of The Civil War   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Historians have long debated the causes of the American civil war and the Southern perspective differs greatly from the Northern perspective. Based upon the study of documents of the War Between The States era and facts published by Confederate Veterans, writers and Southern Historians before, during, and after the war, I present the facts, opinions, and conclusions stated in the this article. Churchill stated that the war between the North and South was one of the most unpreventable wars in history. There were 10 political causes of the war, one of which was slavery, which was a scapegoat for all the differences that existed.
(thecitizen)

Causes of Civil War by Capt. Semmes Ship CSS Alabama   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The discussion below occurs during the war, August 5th, 1861, between Semmes and a Captain Hillyar, of the British vessel Cadmus. It is a summary from a well-educated Southerner of the period who is stating his reasons for fighting. --- Raphael Semmes: "Simply that the machinery of the Federal Government, under which we have lived, and which was designed for the common benefit, has been made the means of despoiling the South, to enrich the North", and I explained to him the workings of the iniquitous tariffs, under the operation of which the South had, in effect, been reduced to a dependent colonial condition.
(thecitizen)

The Turbulent Days Between Fort Sumter and Bull Run
Historian highlights events at start of Civil War in book "Dissonance: The Turbulent Days Between Fort Sumter and Bull Run." The site for the capital of the U.S. was chosen, in part, because it was indefensible. It was a grand gesture that could have proved fatal to the Union in the days after South Carolina's attack on Fort Sumter April 12, 1861. Robert E. Lee, commander of Virginia forces, could have brought cannon to the high ground at Arlington and shelled Washington. Alternately, he or another hot-blooded Confederate officer, might have brought troops across the "Long Bridge" and occupied the city.
(post-gazette)

Senate approves Black Jack resolution - The first battle of war
The Kansas Senate today approved a resolution commemorating the 1856 Battle of Black Jack near Baldwin. The resolution recognizes that the battle was the first of the Civil War not only in Kansas but also of the war. It also refers to the commemoration and events planned for the 150th anniversary of the battle on June 2-3.
(ljworld)

150th Anniversary of Bleeding Kansas to be Commemorated
During the time of "Bleeding Kansas," the nation watched as violence erupted. On August 30, 1856, free state and proslavery men clashed in what became known as the Battle of Osawatomie. Much of the community was burned during the battle. The 150th anniversary of the battle will be commemorated on the original battleground in an event at John Brown Memorial Park. Doctor Joyce Thierer will present "Fighting Beside My Brother," the story of a woman who lived through "Bleeding Kansas" as a young girl and who fought beside her brother during the Civil War. This first person narrative reenactment tells the story of six hundred documented cases of women who fought in the Civil War.
(infozine)

The Cause Lost - Myths and Realities of the Confederacy
Davis brings into sharp focus the facts and fictions of the South's victories and defeats, its tenacious struggle to legitimize its cause and defeat an overpowering enemy, and its ultimate loss of will. He debunks legends and courage of the leadership and would-be founding fathers. Among the most misunderstood was Jefferson Davis. Often branded as incompetent, the Confederate president was simply a committed leader whose mistakes were magnified. He reveals why only Robert E. Lee succeeded in winning Davis' confidence through flattery and persuasion. He examines the myths of the nearly deified Stonewall Jackson and of John C. Breckinridge, the only effective Confederate secretary of war.
(kansaspress)