Social Distinctions

The ways that the northerners and southerners lived day to day was perhaps as important as anything else in sparking the Civil War, because these ways of life influenced the attitudes, beliefs, and thought processes of these people who all lived under the same national flag, but had vast differences between them upon closer consideration of their respective ways of life. Socially, there likewise were Northern and Southern differences that existed at the time of the Civil War. Southerners were more attuned to the ancient principles of chivalry, gentlemanly conduct, and the proper behavior of “civilized society”.

For the North, by and large, these values went by the wayside, and the people were generally an unrefined bunch of individuals. However, on the topic of slavery, the North claimed a moral high road, fighting for the release of slaves. Southerners, viewing slaves as “less than a full person”, saw nothing wrong with slavery. There is a common misperception and historical myth that needs to be dispelled as well; contrary to popular myth, the southerners were not simply cruel slave drivers who enjoyed owning other people and were cold blooded savages with no clear ideas of right and wrong.

In retrospect, it would be more accurate to say that the southerners found themselves in the very difficult position of having their standard of living compromised, and being pushed around by a powerful national government that sought to suppress their rights and never really heard their complaints and concerns. While there is no way to say with certainty, it is likely that the Civil War was driven, at least in part, by a certain level of miscommunication in a highly charged and emotional issue. Conclusion

The American Civil War, as the research has indicated, was caused by a collection of factors, not one issue as some would try to conveniently explain. This paper has clearly shown several key differences between the Union and Confederacy at the time of the Civil War. In closing, it can fairly be said that in light of these differences, the Civil War becomes a far more complex, and compelling, piece of American history.

Works Cited

Andreano, Ralph, ed. The Economic Impact of the American Civil War. Cambridge, MA: Schenkman Publishing, 1962. Dana, Charles A.

Recollections of the Civil War: With the Leaders at Washington and in the Field in the Sixties. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1996. Morrison, Michael A. Slavery and the American West: The Eclipse of Manifest Destiny and the Coming of the Civil War. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1997. Paludan, Phillip Shaw. War and Home: The Civil War Encounter. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1998. Wakelyn, Jon L. , ed. Southern Unionist Pamphlets and the Civil War. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1999.