North or South. Union or Confederate. Freedom or slavery. What do all of these things have in common? You guessed it…the American Civil War. The American Civil War start was in 1861 lasted until 1865. The United States was divided between North and South and a war was fought all across the United States. The journal, “Live The Adventure,” says that there are three main reasons why the Civil War is something very important for kids to understand. The first of the three reasons is that the Civil War was perhaps the greatest event in our country’s history. It is believed to be one of the single most important events because it completely reshaped our nation. America was divided between the North and the South, the biggest difference between the two “sides” being the practice of slavery. But according to the “Live The Adventure” journal, the second reason kids need to know the events of the Civil War is to understand that the Civil War was not only about slavery. When most people think of the Civil War, they think of Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation. Yes, this was a very important and key feature of the Civil War but the conflict of the Civil War did not start because of slavery but rather because of states wanting stronger federal rights and then becoming increasingly angry they were not gaining those rights. When the North wanted to abolish slavery, that is when each territory, North and South, really started to become angry. This anger lead to the start of the Civil War. The third reason that the knowing the Civil War for kids is important is because it gives us an insight as how beliefs and convictions motivate people. As a kid learning about the Civil War, I would always question why so many people had to die at the expense of a disagreement. By studying the Civil War, I have come to understand the role that beliefs and convictions can make when fighting a war. Understanding what caused the Civil War to happen provides many, children and adults, with a deeper understanding of how to better avoid the things that lead to such a divide in our nation.
Once the three main reasons as to why learning the Civil War is something that is imperative to understand is understood, we can look at the true history of the Civil War and even come to understand some stunning facts about it.
One interesting fact about the Civil War was that one-third of the soldiers that fought for the Union Army were immigrants and every one in ten was African American. During the Civil War, the African American soldiers fighting with the North actually refused their salaries for 18 full months in an effort to protest being paid lower wages than that of the white soldiers. The Union Army was fighting for freedom and equality of the slaves being kept in the South, usually African Americans and yet, they refused to pay their soldiers equal amounts. I think that this is another example of the third reason as to why learning the Civil War is important. Seeing that there was still segregation in the North, even when those soldiers were fighting to abolish that, shows us what beliefs and convictions about certain people can do. Another surprising fact about the Civil War is that even before the war started, Abraham Lincoln pushed to send freed slaves abroad. Even before the push to free the slaves, Lincoln was pushing to free the slaves. But because of the push to free the slaves and territorial disagreements, a war swept the United States. Another surprising fact about this war is that more men died in the Civil war than any other American conflict. That includes WWI, WWII, Vietnam War, etc. Knowing and understanding what happened during the Civil War is a very important thing to learn. By understanding, we as a nation, can better avoid any conflicts within our country that would lead to something like this.