Why The American Civil War Is Important

2590 words - 10 pages

The American civil war took place 150 years ago. The war ripped apart the young country and turned brother against brother. The American civil war ended the most grotesque American institution in its history and caused the nation to struggle for the next decade to recover from the devastation. The war caused a wealthy class to lose their stranglehold over the southern economy and ended politics being swayed by whether you were pro or anti slavery. The war caused the death of over 620,000 men, around 2% of the population. The American civil war is worth remembering today. It is worth remembering because it shapes the identity of who Americans are today. Without it, we cannot understand why a nation could be split over the death of a young delinquent named Trayvon Martin. Without it we cannot understand how Martin Luther King Jr. struggled to gain his dream. Without it we cannot understand why women fought for suffrage rights in the 1920s. What was the American civil war about? States rights? Slavery? Both? Perhaps this does not matter, perhaps all that matters is the end results, the prohibition of slavery and the emergence of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. The nation emerged with a new identity of freedom, not just whites, but people of all color. But the war did not end discrimination or racism, it saw different forms of it take place; forms that still effect us today. The Civil War is worth remembering because the Civil War still shapes America’s identity to this day.

First let us examine the cultural implications the Civil War had on us today. Today in America we are we are shaped as a culture by diversity, and dreams. By diversity I mean we are a culture that though, dominantly white, is full of many ethnicities of people and diverse in politics and their businesses. What I mean by dreams is America is defined by their ability to dream; anything you set your mind to you can do sort of ideology. America is and has been known as the land of opportunity. Both of these we see are affected and molded by our bitter strife in the early 1860’s. How do we understand the context for the pursuit of equality by women today? We see it rise in the civil war. While men were out fighting Women who had previously been stuck to private life, were seeking new identity. Women for the first time gained public roles. Women like Louisa May Alcott who serves in hospitals were gaining attention. Trying to change the status of females from the traditional nurturing women to more a more public image. It is in the civil war that we see the first signs of the blending of lines between men and women’s roles. This serves as a context to the advanced but still lesser role of women today. Women continue this fight to end the inequality of sexism.

Diversity, In 1860 a group of states saw their diversity, they dreamed, dreamed of a utopian south where they could favor their own interest and desires. They sought to make that dream a reality in 1861. The lesson we...

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