The American Civil War and the Revolution in the Economy and Politics

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The Civil War continues to be one of the most unforgettable incidents in the history of the United States. In comparison, the Civil War will determine upon its conclusion the form of country the United States would be. The desire to make the state independent or have an independent and indivisible central government was one of the reasons why the Civil War happened. The question of the fair right of rights for all people, on the other hand, was also a pressing issue at the moment. The United States was, in particular, commonly regarded as the slaveholding capital. Nevertheless, the end of the Civil War in the United States in 1865 meant that the country had made a significant step towards putting an end to slave trade (Towers, 2011). For this reason, the victory came at a time when the country lost 625,000 soldiers in war.

The fact that the North was not ready to allow slave trade as part of the practices of the American society led to the Civil War. Moreover, the power heads in the capital Washington were in the process of banning slaveholding practices in all the 13 colonies. In particular, in 1861, there was a conflict between the practice of slavery and the rights possessed by all Americans and the extent to which the central government could exercise power over the states. Therefore, during this period, America did not share the same values across the different states which stirred the divide between the North and the South. The South highly depended on agriculture as this region would export their produce to West Europe enabling them to raise revenues. The region had a structure similar to the one adopted in the United Kingdom including having a King (Towers, 2011). Moreover, some individuals assumed a high status in the society while others had to accept their positions. Unlike the South, the North allowed entrepreneurs, and in 1860, the region became highly industrialized. Social mobility was permissible which meant people could move to a higher social status. The North also had individuals from various religions and nationalities making it different from the South which comprised mainly of Christians. The Civil War erupted as the South saw that it was very likely that the North would make an attempt to introduce their values in the South. On the other hand, the state rights intertwined with slavery making it unacceptable and therefore the need to abolish it.

In 1848, the Mexican War erupted following the quick spread of slavery to the West. Initially, a Pennsylvanian congressman presents a debate to the Senate proposing the abolition of slavery but it was killed in the early phases by Southerners. The presidential elections set for 1848 saw Zachary Taylor who had the support of the South battle it with Lewis Cass. Taylor won the elections but later died after being in office for only sixteen months forcing Millard Fillmore to resume office in 1850 (Towers, 2011). On the elections held in 1852, Franklin Pierce who originated from the South won the elections. Upon winning, he wanted to expand the Southern territory and increase more slave states. In 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed which meant that these states would determine whether to abolish slavery or not through popular sovereignty. Having the fear that Kansas would become a slave state led to protests in the region by Northerners.

Explain the Connection between the Market and the Political Revolution and Their Legacy

The relationship between the market and the political revolution stems from the emphasis Tocqueville placed on democracy and more so liberty. However, Tocqueville acknowledged the fact that these two terms are distinct. Regarding the market revolution, Tocqueville proposed that through liberty, individuals would have the capability to pursue their personal interests which generated the capitalist notion (Newman, 2016). On the other hand, liberty would deter the society to have control over the people unless their actions are prejudicial which translates to the political freedom of individuals. For this reason, the intersection of the market and the political revolution is attributable to the preference the Americans had on their freedom.

Similarly, liberty of association contributed to the American Revolution as it scraped off the majority rule which favored only a given population. For this matter, the introduction of democracy would see a new political and economic climate as the demand for uniformity would be a necessity in the American society. Thus, liberty created the connection between the political and the market revolution. The central position Tocqueville takes on Liberty dominates the personal interests of individuals and the democracy of citizens (Newman, 2016). The opportunities arising from the liberty of individuals contributed to the new modern world characterized by the industrial revolution and the surfacing of political issues. Hence, the interconnection of Tocqueville's insights stems from liberty.

The American Revolution had an enormous influence on the U.S. in the 19th Century. Narrowing down, the market revolution saw the American society shift from an agricultural to an industrial economy. The industrial revolution saw the introduction of new technologies which saw the economy growth improve over the years. Moreover, there were plans to improve productivity in a move to achieve mass production goals. The introduction of an “outwork system” in the 19th century saw the production of significant outputs take place in various remote locations (Newman, 2016). Thus, the "outwork system" paved its way for the "factory system." The system introduced production of large quantities in a centralized location which paved the way for the growth of individual and associated businesses in the 19th century.

On the other hand, the political revolution left a legacy in the United States following the path it paved for proper political reforms. During President Jackson’s term, the majority rule came into operation following the democratic pressure in 1812. Apart from scrapping the oppressive policies of the Adams and Clay administration, Jackson pushed for the interests of the American citizens. Later on, Van Buren went ahead to form the Democratic party which upheld similar policies as those of Jackson. Moreover, Buren denied economic privileges accorded to them in the previous political administrations (Newman, 2016). The prevailing conditions in the early 19th Century dictated the ideals of the political climate in the United States. The alteration of geographical and religious policies was in a bid to create more opportunities for the United States. However, according to Tocqueville, the political revolution had a greater impact in shaping the American identity. He focused on the political economy with a close emphasis on the military exemplifying the liberties as it would generate more progress propelling America towards the modern world.



Newman, B. (2016). The marketing revolution in politics: what recent U.S. presidential campaigns can teach us about effective marketing. Choice Reviews Online, 53(10), 53-4434-53-4434.

Towers, F. (2011). Partisans, New History, and Modernization: The Historiography of the Civil War's Causes, 1861–2011. The Journal Of The Civil War Era, 1(2), 237-264.

October 20, 2021

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