Researching the problem of the Civil War, the most significant contribution was made by Winthrop D. Jordan, Howard Zinn, and Charles Johnson. The works describe the crisis of the Civil War that appeared with the separation of North and South. The Northern States struggled for the abolition of slavery and freedom for all Negros, while the Southern States continued the politics of slavery and colonial economy. The crisis of War came with the legislation of the Union of Northern States, where a lot of Negros were liberated from slavery. The slaves from the South managed to escape and join abolitionists. The books divulge the contribution of the North’s fight against the slavery in South.
The contribution of the North fight against slavery in South
In the middle of the eighteenth century, Southern States separated from the Union. They proclaimed themselves the Confederacy and made the laws for the preservation of the rights of slaveholders. Johnson comments, “While the Civil War began as a battle for and against Southern independence, it was slavery that had divided Northerners and Southerners” (Johnson, 25). To prove their position in the fight for slavery preservation, the South passed the Fugitive Slave Act. This law provoked the North opposition and widespread dissatisfaction among slaves. The opposition started open resistance. “When the Fugitive Slave Act was passed in 1850, it offered the services of federal marshals and soldiers in capturing escaped slaves and returning them to their masters. Black and white abolitionists defied the law, and helped many slaves to escape” (Zinn, 168). The course of the war was redirected to the preference of the North by the Emancipation Proclamation. By this law, the president hoped to bring closer the end of the war and stop the British from intervening. Johnson marks, “Many people supported the president and hoped that freeing the slaves would help end the war” (Johnson, 34). The Northern States were afraid of the influence of Lincoln and made an attempt to conclude a peace treaty with the Union. But being refused, they attempted to bypass the law. “To prevent circumvention of their gradual emancipation laws, many northern states prohibited selling slaves out of state, thereby demonstrating that they valued liberation of blacks over riddance of them” (Jordan, 155). The slaves were used by the Confederacy as laborers to supply its army. They did not admit Negros’ participation in the fight, fearing that they desert to the opposition, when North’s army grew due to Negro soldiers. Many Southerners came down on the side of liberators. They claimed the equality of all the people. In the Georgia Legislature Henry McNeal Turner said, “Never, in the history of the world, has a man been arraigned before a body clothed with legislative, judicial or executive functions, charged with the offense of being of a darker hue than his fellowmen” (Zinn, 194).
The outcome of the revolution was determined by the support of people, who maintained the fight against slavery and racism. The books are significant for the research of the details of war courses. They help to realize the importance of people’s attraction to the Nations’ life. They call for thinking about the rights and freedoms of all people, created equal by God, and help not to forgive about the mistakes of the past, in order that humanity tried to eradicate those evils.
Jordan, Winthrop D. The White Man’s Burden: Historical Origins of Racism in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.
Johnson, Charles, Patricia Smith, and the WGBH Series Research Team. Africans in America: America’s Journey through Slavery. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1998.
Zinn, Howard and Anthony Arnove. Voices of a people’s history of the United States. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2009.