– Hisirian’s perspectives of the civil war.
– David Muzzey’s perspective
– John Anderson’s perspective
– DIVERGING VIEWS OF THE NORTH AND SOUTH
– Abraham Lincoln election
– The political landscape
– SESSECION ISSUE
– Effects of John Brown’s raid
– Polarized factions
– Economic perspective to slavery
Historians have had their different views as to why and how important events happened in history. Such is the mystery surrounds the whole issue of the American civil war. Historians have had different reporting of events that took place in the past. This brings about a lot of conflict and one wonders where the truth lies. Considering different facts that have been put down by different writers, this paper is going to explore some of those works. These two works represent the different perceptions that the authors have towards the cause of the civil war. One of them is An American History by David Muzzey and the other is John Anderson’s Grammar School History of United States. Through the eyes of Muzzey, the actual cause of the American civil war was institution of slavery and the election of Abraham Lincoln as president therefore bringing in a political twist to the whole issue. Anderson on the other hand says that the cause was aside from slavery.
Through Muzzey’s writings, it is clear that he acknowledges the fact that the North was hostile to the institution of slavery. This according to him was all about slavery and the South did not like the election of Lincoln to the presidency. It was known that Lincoln was not of the idea of slavery and according to him; his election meant that he could work for the abolition of it something that the South did not agree with. This means that the political perspective to the war was seen through the election of a person who was clearly against it. According to Muzzey, “ So long as these conflicting views were tenaciously held on both sides, reconciliation was impossible” (Muzzey 351). With this background, it is therefore clear that Muzzey puts weight on both the political and economic perspective as the reason for the start of the civil war.
On the other hand, Anderson speaks of slavery continuing to be “ the prominent topic of discussion” (Anderson 157). He says that this issue continued to give the people a lot of excitement and aggravated their feelings throughout the country. This put the South against the North. John Brown’s raid of the South in an effort to free the slaves further worsened the situation. This further put the South and the North on loggerheads. The issue of the secession then came in because the South was opposed to the election of Lincoln. In as much as the slavery issue was the point that these two parties could not agree, the fact that the countries economically benefited them did not receive so much weight like the political perspective to the civil war. Anderson therefore puts a balancing act on either of these two reasons.
Anderson, John. A Grammar School History of the United States. New York: Clark & Maynard. 1871
Muzzey, David S. A History of Our Country. Boston: Ginn. 1936