The Civil War

Student post by Joia, written on February 10, 2015

Tom Gill, Civil War Smoke, May 19, 2007

Tom Gill, Civil War Smoke, May 19, 2007

Did you know hundreds of thousands of people died fighting the United States Civil War? In social science, we are learning about the history of the United States. Right now, we are learning about the causes of the Civil War. We learned about the Civil War each day by completing parts of a mini-book that was specifically made for the topic.


Gabe fashioned a creative cover on his Causes of the Civil War mini-book.

The Civil War was fought between the Union (Northern) and the Confederate (Southern) states [in the 1860s]. One of the reasons why the war occurred was because of the different views of slavery. The Union did not want slaves in their territory–those who opposed slaves were called abolitionists. However, the Confederate states did not mind having slaves and strongly wanted to keep them around.¬† This resulted in [southerners] ¬†labeled as pro-slavery supporters.

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Cotton Boll, Photo by Jimmy Smith, September 14, 2002

One main reason Confederate states fought for the act of slave labor was that their slaves provided work to grow cotton. Cotton was a necessary crop that was in huge demand by consumers, making the states dependent on this crop in order to continue the growth of their economy. This caused violence between abolitionists and pro-slavery supporters. Even in Congress, violence had broken out. Preston Brooks, a pro-slavery representative from the South, had beaten Charles Sumner, an abolitionist representative from the North, with a cane.

Would you support slavery or would you be an abolitionist?

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8 thoughts on “The Civil War

  1. Thank you so much for providing more insight into the Civil War. The vocabulary you used helped me learn new words, such as “abolitionists.” I was also introduced to the fact that cotton production was a factor that made people want to keep slaves. I still have one question, though. Did people try other methods of communication before resorting to violence?

    • Claire, That’s a really good question. It’s always best to try diplomatic methods to solve problems. In other words, it’s best to try to talk it over. In the mid-1800s, there were many people who wished for a non-violent way through this dilemma, including Abraham Lincoln. The Civil War was tragic, but I’m glad that slavery is not allowed anymore.

  2. Thank you for sharing this information about the civil war with me. Two facts that I learned are that the war was fought between the confederates and the union. I also learned that the confederates reason to have slaves was they wanted to produce cotton. I want to ask why the confederates couldn’t growcotton themselves

    • Jacob, Do you mean that the white planters should have done the work themselves? Some poor farmers did just that, or they worked along with their few slaves. A wealthy planter who plants many acres of land would not be able to do the work all alone, even if the planter’s whole family pitched in. They chose to buy slaves, though the cost was high at first, because they could get many more years of work from them for free. Thus, wealthy planters made a profit because they didn’t have to pay workers. We know how unfair that was, but most of those planters just thought that was how the world worked.

  3. Thank you, Joia, for posting this. I learned that southern people wanted slaves to help their economy. Also, I never knew that someone got beat by a cane in Congress. This affected me because even though Asians were not part of this, they could have been segregated too.

  4. This is a great blog post. I never knew that the South were fighting the North to preserve their economy, though, of course, slaves were cruel and inhumane methods of doing so, which is also why I would be an abolitionist. I’d just like to think however, how did the Southern states become do dependent on slaves and cotton? Was it because they were limited to it due to the climate, or because of a shortage of workers? Or maybe even both?

  5. This is an amazing post. It is interesting that this all started because two different sides couldn’t cope with one’s ideals. I wonder that if they decided not to fight, how would things be today? Slavery, in my opinion, is cruel and unjust, and should never happen.

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