How did the Civil War change our nation?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The Civil War changed our nation in many ways.

First, it brought slavery to an end. Slavery ended with the ratification of the thirteenth amendment. 

Second, it showed Americans that fighting a civil war is not the way to go. So many families were impacted by the Civil War.  Approximately 620,000 Americans died in this conflict.  Americans began to realize there are better solutions than fighting to resolve differences that exist. 

The Civil War led to economic diversification in the South.  After the Civil War and Reconstruction, the South began to develop industries along with the farming for which it was known. 

The Civil War also reinforced the principle that the power of the federal government comes before the power of state government. For example, states can’t pass laws that go against federal laws or the Constitution.  States also can’t withdraw from the Union when they don’t like an action of the federal government. 

The Civil War began a long process of bringing more equal opportunities and rights for African Americans.  While this wasn’t accomplished as quickly as we would have liked for it to occur, the country has been evolving toward a more equal society since the Civil War ended. 

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