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American Civil War Chapter of Deloria’s “This Land” Essay

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Updated: Apr 15th, 2021

American Civil War: Book Review

In this chapter (14), we review the American Civil War. Deloria acknowledges that the American Civil War happened during Abraham Lincoln’s era from 1860 to 1865 when he was assassinated. Lincoln, the first Republican president, assumed the presidency after receiving 180 out of possible 303 votes. His victory is owed to his stand against slavery. His ascendancy to power sparked series of secessions in the very year, having started with the State of South Carolina and then having followed by 10 other southern states to form the Confederate States. Authors note that the American Civil War had officially started in 1861, having followed the Confederate’s attack on Fort Sumter. This prompted Lincoln to issue a “Proclamation of Blockade against Southern ports” (Deloria, Limerick, Rakove, and Burner 421).

This was vital in starving the rural South from accessing industrial raw materials from a relatively developed North. Importantly, the Confederates sustained more attacks on the Union forces of the North, and in July 1861, under the command of General Thomas J. Jackson, the Confederates overcame the Union troops at the Bull Run. This is when Lincoln realized that the war was much tasking. Later, the war spiraled over, drawing the interest of the international community (British, in particular) after Lincoln seizes Confederates who were headed for Britain. Britain, as one of the ten superpowers, threatened Lincoln who later on gave up, having released the captives. As such, he remarked that he would have dealt with “one war at a time” (Deloria, Limerick, Rakove, and Burner 430). This prompted Lincoln to lodge an attack on the Confederates, with General Ulysses Grant leading the invasion, which resulted in the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson. The Confederate’s retaliatory attack in Shiloh in April 1862 was fetal as it led to deaths and causalities of 23,000 troops. 13,000 of the dead were the Union forces. From that time to September, the nature of attacks was intermittent, with the Antietam War recording the worst death toll of all times (26,000 dead men).

On January 1, 1963, President Lincoln declared the Emancipation Proclamation of slaves following the defeat of Confederates at Fredericksburg in Virgin. Again the Confederates came out stronger, but that was a short-lived victory as they succumbed to defeat at Gettysburg. Subsequent aggressions by the Union forces on the Confederates were more coordinated attacks than they had been before, and they culminated in the destruction of the Confederates’ railway network and warehouses on November 15, 1964. Later, at the beginning of the following year, Congress “approved the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, to abolish slavery” (Deloria, Limerick, Rakove and Burner 442).

A peace conference four days later backfired, and as such the war continued. Meanwhile, the battalions of the South that were still fighting the North were in Petersburg and North Carolina, under the command of Generals Lee and Johnson respectively. Against this backdrop, Lincoln got re-elected on March 4, 1865, and vowed to finish what he had started. Lee’s final attack on the Northern army had failed, and as such, he surrendered on April 9, 1865, with wild celebrations in Washington. However, the celebrations were overshadowed by the assassination of President Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth 5 days later. General Johnson, just like Lee surrendered, marking the end of the Civil War. The war led to more than 1 million people died because of diseases and direct attacks. More than 50000 amputees and injured survived the war. Importantly, the ‘Thirteenth Amendment’ was ratified on January 5, 1865, having ended slavery.

This article takes us through the struggles experienced by the American people in their quest for slavery ending and involuntary servitude. The industrialized North was against that inhuman practice while the rural South embraced it. As a consequence, a lot of blood was shed, as the American population suffered a lot, losing more than 1 million people. Importantly, the Northern government had been fighting against that vice until the ‘Thirteenth Amendment’ was approved by Congress. This brought slavery to an end.

This article is historical in the sense that it reflects on the plight of the blacks who, a century down the line, were still struggling to fight for their rights for equality with their White counterparts. While the Civil War era had alleviated the Negros from slavery, their rights were still violated. In a nutshell, the end of slavery marked the beginning of a long struggle that culminated in the ultimate realization of the rights of African-Americans in the 1970s. This article is important since it gives us an insight into the origin of a liberal America that is free of slavery and respects the democratic rights of every person.

The authors’ main point is that slavery and deprivation of people’s rights are impediments to the development of a nation. Their point was proven in the mid of the 1950s and 1960s when America was hit by a series of protests with Martin Luther Jr. leading the Blacks to struggle for their civil rights. The USA has developed rapidly after the government started respecting people’s rights irrespective of their skin color. The authors are biased in the sense that much of their work depicts Blacks as the sole victim of slavery, yet the Whites, particularly from Eastern Europe, suffered the same fate.

Works Cited

Deloria, Philip, Limerick Patricia, Rakove Jack, and Burner David. This Land, A History of the United States. Boston: Allyn, 2006. Print.

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1. IvyPanda. "American Civil War Chapter of Deloria's "This Land"." April 15, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-civil-war-chapter-of-delorias-this-land/.


IvyPanda. "American Civil War Chapter of Deloria's "This Land"." April 15, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-civil-war-chapter-of-delorias-this-land/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "American Civil War Chapter of Deloria's "This Land"." April 15, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/american-civil-war-chapter-of-delorias-this-land/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'American Civil War Chapter of Deloria's "This Land"'. 15 April.

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