History Essay Paper on American Civil War

American Civil War


The journal paper discusses the problems faced by Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis that contributed to civil war in their respective states. It analyses the contribution of each person in the American civil war. The achievements of both commanders will also be discussed together with their weaknesses.


A civil war involves the conflict between different groups in the same state. The main objectives of the civil war are the intention of one group to exercise control over the other group or to need to amend some government policies, which are unfavorable to them. Each occurrence of civil war is associated with a particular commander who is responsible for initiating the war.

Main Text

 Abraham Lincoln acted as the 16th president of the United States from 1861. However, he was assassinated in the year 1865. His assassination led to his removal from power. He was responsible for the greatest civil war in United States, which was immoral, and against the constitution (Wiegand & Steve, 43). One of the problems he faced during the war was the need to stop slavery. He believed that the problem of slavery would split the Union. Therefore, his main agenda was to save the Union from collapsing instead of freeing the slaves.

Jefferson Davis acted as an American soldier and the president of Confederate States of America in the period of the civil war. His strategy to defeat the industrialized Union, which was well established, never succeeded since he failed to get back up from foreign nations. The major problem he faced during the civil war was the high rate of Confederate economy collapsing. Historians associate the defeat by the Union to the poor leadership as compared to the Abraham Lincoln’s leadership capacity.

These two individuals solved the problems created during the civil war in different ways. Abraham Lincoln hated slavery and could not stand as a leader to see the act of slavery spread in his state (Wiegand & Steve, 23). In his power, he outlawed the commission of slavery in the northern states. However, slavery was legal in the southern United States. He also opposed the idea of allowing specific settlers to make the decisions on slavery instead of restricting the power to the national congress.

On the other hand, Jefferson Davis dealt with his issues in a different manner. His attempt was risky since it led to his defeat by the Union. He advised the government to print more currency to deal with the increasing war expenditures. Due to high pressure from the Abraham Lincoln’s side, he had to commit many resources to the war. This move led to great inflation and the Confederate Dollar lost its value. Scholars considered his decisions poor, as they never assisted his state in any manner.

Lincoln issued Emancipation Proclamation by the late 1862 with several reasons for the decision. The major objective was to change the focus of the civil war from political into moral perspective. Since he had experience of repetitive defeat of the northern military, he aimed at changing the goal of the war in the minds of the citizens (Sheehan & Aaron, 26). The northern citizens had started to oppose the undertakings of Lincoln. He therefore had to strengthen the citizen’s support by focusing on moral slavery.

He announced the proclamation the time European countries such as France and England threatened to recognize the confederate state led by Jefferson Davis (Sheehan & Aaron, 34). He decided to shift the focus of the civil war to the moral slavery, which in turn prevented the set recognition. He established the Emancipation Proclamation by protecting the slaves who escaped from Border States using his army. He launched a campaign to encourage other states to make slavery illegal in order to attain his objective of outlawing slavery.

Both the citizens of the north and south states had different responses to the Lincoln action of issuing Emancipation Proclamation (Sheehan & Aaron, 48). The freed and the enslaved slaves received the declaration with great joy because it led to their freedom. An artist in the north made some art immediately after the issuance of the Proclamation, which displayed Lincoln’s decision as an act of moral justice and in accordance with the constitution. Slaves in the south explained the declaration as an act to compromise their life’s because the promise to freed slaves in the south did not rejoin the already split Union.

The civil war had massive effects on the communities at the south and north. The war marked a major turning point in the economy of United States. Starting with the northern state, slavery was abolished and the citizens gained more recognition from the government. Many slaves who were uneducated, unemployed and homeless were liberated and they lived lives that are more comfortable. The north had more dominance in power with its military troop attaining more recognition in the federal union.

The north also experienced rapid expansion of its economy with the development of the industrial, railroads and the agricultural sectors. During the period of the civil war, there was booming of businesses leading to increased profits (O’Brien & Patrick, 46). The end of the war did not lead to slow growth in the north as cities like Chicago became very industrialized. The general rise in the American economy after the civil war was tremendous. This was associated with the federal government control by the northern republicans.

In the south, most of the effects were negative to the society. However, the abolishment of slavery was an important step towards the establishment of democratic governance in the United States. The establishment of democracy influenced the rise of democracy around the globe. There existed radicals who supported the instant abolishing of slavery and the moderates who were much concerned with their individual economic gains.

 The American civil war is not justifiable considering the consequences faced by the civilians and the massive damage of property. The war led to the collapse of the southern economy, which majorly depended of the slavery business (O’Brien & Patrick, 24). The abolishment of slavery by Abraham Lincoln was a good decision because it freed the slaves who fled from the south. The civil war led to loss of thousands of lives for both the Union and Confederate troops. The damage of the southern economy was enormous because most of its capital investment was on slaves.

Considering the property damage during the war, it is not justifiable to support the war. During the draft riots in the New York City, property worth more than 1 million dollars was destroyed (O’Brien & Patrick, 32). The southern people attributed their desperate lives to the war’s destruction of the state’s structures. Large sections of roads in the south were destructed and some cities burned by troops from the north Union. Historians connect the slow economic growth and development in the south to the consequences of the civil war.


In conclusion, the occurrence of American civil war under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis was critical to the growth of democracy in United States. Despite the severe consequences of the war on civilians, the war led to freedom of the slaves in the south thereby making them feel proud of being Americans. The rise in the northern economy after war was a significant implication of the positive effects of the war.

Works Cited

O’Brien, Patrick. The Economic Effects of the American Civil War. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1988. Print.

Sheehan-Dean, Aaron C. The Civil War: The Final Year Told by Those Who Lived It. N.p., 2014. Print.

Wiegand, Steve. U.s. History for Dummies. N.p., 2014. Print.