2012년 05월 27일 (일) 21:02
(Dearborn=Michigan) Jacob Shin Youth Reporter=
In the spring of 1861, decades of simmering tensions between the northern and southern United States over issues including states’ rights versus federal authority, westward expansion and slavery exploded into the American Civil War (1861-1865).
Four years of brutal conflict were marked by historic battles at Bull Run, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Vicksburg, among others. The War Between the States, as the Civil War was also known, pitted neighbor against neighbor and in some cases, brother against brother.
By the time it ended in Confederate surrender in 1865, the Civil War proved to be the costliest war ever fought on American soil, with some 620,000 of 2.4 million soldiers killed, millions more injured and the population and territory of the South devastated.
Though most Americans knew that the central reason behind the war was slavery, it was not until the Battle of Antietam in September 1862 that Lincoln began emancipating the slaves. On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in captured Confederate territory. From that point on, the war officially became one over the issue of slavery. Still, it was not until after the war, in December 1865, that the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified, finally freeing all slaves in America.
Economically, the war was a boon for the North and a disaster for the South. The North began the war with several advantages: more men, more money, more industrial power, and an extensive railroad system. And by the end of the war, the North continued to dominate economically, while the ravaged South struggled to recover economically and psychologically from the devastation of the war.
The Civil War answered many of the fundamental questions of the American experiment: free or slave, one or many, united or divided. But it did so at a tremendous cost.