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The Civil War and What It Meant to Be Civilized

In: Historical Events

Submitted By smdelgado
Words 3276
Pages 14
During the period of 1861-1865 that is commonly known as the Civil War, both the

northern and the confederate states exhibited variegated forms of what it means to be civilized.

At the bottom of it, the Civil War exhibited the most bloodshed on American soil at a singular

point in time. For this reason it must be stated that both The Union and The Confederates both

acted out bloodthirsty and carnal impulses. The difference that was displayed was that the

liberalism and regard for expanded civil rights that was the basis for The Union’s war stance was

countered by a stalwart reactionary ideological platform that The Confederacy clung to.

Essentially, civility was at an all-time low during the bloodshed of the Civil war. Over 500,000

lives were claimed, however the etiquette and ideological platforms of both sides proved to be

The old world charm of the South was encapsulated by John Mosby and his revenge

against a Union trooper killing a young child in front of the child’s mother. Mosby exclaimed

that revenge was not a primary, or even a secondary motivation. He honestly believed that he

had to kill in order to stop the killing (Civil War Times, 31). This etiquette and honor displayed

during the bloodshed was in contradistinction to the crass and needless killing committed by the

Union soldier. This shows how oftentimes ideologies can mask the deeper, truer feelings and

sentiments of people. The Union exhibited regard for the abolition of slavery and expanded

human rights, to a degree, however The Confederacy’s ideological platform was viewed as rigid

and hateful though the actions of Mosby show that they exhibited warmth, pride and

humanitarian principles on a personal level.

Abraham Lincoln’s general, George McLellan,...

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