Read “Why The War Was Not About Slavery” by Donald W. Livingston (LINK BELOW)
Write a summary and analysis of the assigned reading. Donald W. Livingston’s article provides a robust framework around the causes of the Civil War, but it does not paint a complete picture of all the perspectives on this issue. Therefore, additional research as well as reading the optional articles will shed light on other points of view surrounding this topic.Be sure to include the following elements, at a minimum:
What is the purpose of the reading? (Why did the author write it?)
What are the main points of the reading? (What is the author saying, or trying to say?)
Do historical facts support the author’s arguments? (Whether you like it or not, do the arguments hold up? Please use examples.)
Are you persuaded by the reading? Why or why not? (Again, whether you like it or not, is the author successful in convincing you?)
Provide in-text citations (when you quote, paraphrase, or summarize the work of others), and cite the required reading itself as a source at the end of your work, using MLA format.
At least one source other than the reading is required, and you are welcome to use additional sources.
Please cite sources at the end of your work, using MLA format. Analyze all sources used carefully, and do not use wikis or .coms, or you will lose points.
Causes of American Civil War
The American Civil War was a conflict in the United States that was fought between 1861 and 1865, and it involved the nationalists loyal to the Confederate forces and the secessionists. The article by Donald Livingston titled Why the War Was Not about Slavery seeks to exclude slavery as the cause of the Civil War. Livingston claims that the war was as a result of the deep-lying problems between the North and the South that had existed before even slavery. The American historians that existed before the 1960s explained that slavery was an immediate cause of the war (Livingston 16)However, listing slavery as the main reason for the war is overshadowed by the fact that there were long-standing economic, political and constitutional conflicts which can be considered as real reasons why the fighting broke out. Livingston disputes the one-dimensional approach that most of the modern historians have adopted which explains that the core of the Civil War was a moral struggle between the two regions over slavery.
Historical facts support the argument that Livingston is trying to put across. In one of the speeches by Abraham Lincoln, he explains that the war was not about having equal rights between black and white people. Lincoln revealed that there had to be a superior race and preferred the white to be the preferred race over any other (Livingston 18). Abraham’s speech disputes the fact that the war was based on the moral struggle over slavery because he was the leader of the Confederate States that modern authors claim were proponents of ending slavery. The author is convincing in stating that the main reason for the war was not slavery, because at the time, servitude was a national enormity and not a confine to the South as many of the current historians have claimed. American history reveals that the vice was intertwined with the economic and cultural fabric of the North too as there were slaves in Boston and New England as early as 1644 (Berlin 51).