US Civil War
History of the United States
American Revolution

Did the civil war complete what was left unfinished by the American Revolution?

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2009-12-15 19:53:54

Answer

The American Revolution did not solve all the problems in the

newly formed United States. The "founding fathers" left the issue

of slavery alone, not wanting to cause conflict and unable to

resolve the issues themselves. They wrote that 80 years later the

next generation could reassess it. Also, the issue of state power

versus federal power was murky. Since the American Revolution aimed

to break away from a monarchy and tyrranous federal government, the

threat of having a strong federal government in the US wasn't

unanimously accepted, creating the Federalist and Anti-Federalist

parties. The Civil War addressed both these issues (as well as

countless others) and, as we know, slavery was abolished in

captured Confederate territories and eventually across the US with

the 13th Ammendment. In the war Black Union Men were allowed to

serve, as in the Massachusetts 54th infantry, but it would not be

until the 1950's when civil rights for blacks would be instated and

preserved. In a way the Civil War resolved the issue of slavery,

but did not help former slaves attain all their rights. It did,

however, bring about the 14th Ammendment which gave blacks the

rights of citizenship which had been denied in 1857 in the case of

Dred Scott v Sanford. Also, the Fifteenth Ammendment was passed

which prohibited any state government from denying a citizen the

right to vote based on "race, color, or previous condition of

servitude."


State versus Federal Power was not resolved, but addressed

through the Civil War as well. The fact that the government

declared war in order to restore the Nation proved its power, as

well as abolishing slavery and creating a stronger federal

government. While we are still struggling with state versus federal

power, we are a much more stable nation than we were before

1870.


Ultimately, the Civil War was a culmination of much tension that

had built up in the US after the Revolutionary War. Slavery was

finally dealt with and abolished, and the Federal Government made

itself stronger in order to protect the nation and keep it

united.


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