The American Civil War 1861-1865
The American Civil War 1861 – 1865 had a significant impact on the nation’s politics. The war shaped the US into what it is today. The development of a strong central national government was necessary after the Civil War because America needed strong leadership to help rebuild the nation as a united republic rather than a fragmented union of different states.
A stable central national government after the war was crucial in ensuring the US adhered to its constitution which affirmed America as one nation. The war resulted in thousands of casualties, and despite the Northerners winning, bitterness remained among the Southerners (Neff 145). A strong central national government was necessary for ensuring talks of secession did not arise again by having control of the entire nation. Additionally, a stable central federal government would prevent insurrections from occurring since power would be centralized at the top, denying states the opportunity of growing too dominant and seeking autonomy. Furthermore, a strong central national government would unite all the states by making them dependent on it for resources and ultimate governance. All states would be forced to seek funds, consent, and pay taxes to the central government hence ensuring cooperation and allegiance of all states in the country. Therefore, a strong central national government was vital in fostering unity among the states by maintaining control and governance.
Additionally, the establishment of a stable central national government after the war was important since the nation was torn and needed to be rebuilt. The American Civil War took a negative toll on the Southern region, destroying most of its infrastructure and farmlands (Neff 137). At the end of the war, the Southern part was destroyed economically and socially. Additionally, slave labor which had been the source of labor on their large plantations had been abolished (Hallwood 6). A stable central national government was needed to help reform the region. For example, such a government was required to provide the necessary resources to rebuild the South economically since Northerners destroyed it. Moreover, it had to ensure an atmosphere of peace prevailed so that social reform and further developments could occur. The presence of a strong central national government would also ensure that the law was observed. Only in an environment where the rule of law is upheld, and order exists can reformation occur. Hence, the presence of a strong central national government was essential in ensuring the nation develops.
The American Civil War was waged over several reasons and had several outcomes. The first reason for going to war was due to the Northern and Southern state’s disagreement over secession (Reid 260). The Southern states were determined to form their separate nation and govern themselves. However, the Northern states refused to recognize the sovereignty of the newly formed Confederacy of Southern states leading to war. Additionally, the war was further waged based on slavery (Reid 377). Southern states wanted to expand the practice of slavery, whereas Northern states wanted to abolish the slave trade. The two warring factions went to war for their beliefs with the North eventually emerging victorious. The outcome of the war was a death toll of approximately 630,000 Americans (Neff 204). The Northern and Southern states united under one national federal government.
Summarily, the development of a strong central national government was necessary after the Civil War because America needed strong leadership to help rebuild the nation as a united republic rather than a fragmented union of different states. A stable central national government was needed to help reform and reunite the country, rebuild the South, create stability, and enforce the law.
Hallwood, Paul. “The Confederacy and the American Civil War, 1861-1865: Greed or Grievance?” Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 41, 2018, pp. 1-23.
Neff, John R. Honoring the Civil War dead: Commemoration and the problem of reconciliation. University Press of Kansas, 2016.
Reid, Brian Holden. The Origins of the American Civil War. Routledge, 2014.