How do the names that the North and South used for the Civil War reflect the points of view of the people who used them?
Southerners called the Civil War the Second War for Independence. Northerners called it the War of the Rebellion.
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The Southerners felt that they were being oppressed by the North. To them, being ruled by the North was no different than being ruled by England had been for the colonies. They claimed that the North was trying to take away their right to rule themselves as they saw fit.
By contrast, the North felt that the South was simply rebelling against its legitimate government. They felt that the Constitution had created a union of all the people of the various states and that no state had the right to break away from that union. Therefore, the Southern states were simply rebelling against a government that had the right to rule the entire country.
The North and the South had different names for the Civil War. The South called the Civil War the Second War for Independence. Northerners referred to the Civil War as the War of the Rebellion. There were reasons why each side used the names they used.
The South called the Civil War the Second War for Independence because they felt they were fighting for their freedom. The South believed the North was oppressing them. They believed the tariff policies benefitted the North while hurting the South. The South wanted to preserve and expand slavery while the North was against the spread of slavery, and later, against slavery itself. As a result, the South felt like it was fighting for everything that was very important to them. They believed they were no longer independent since more and more policies didn’t reflect the needs of the South. They felt their voices weren’t being heard. They compared the situation to what we faced when we fought for independence from Great Britain in 1776.
The North called the Civil War the War of the Rebellion because they believed the South was rebelling against policies of the United States. When the South wanted to nullify federal laws, this violated the Constitution. When the South seceded from the Union, they were, in reality, rebelling against the United States and its laws and policies. The South was trying to form their own country when they seceded from the Union. The North believed the South no longer wanted to follow the policies passed by our government. Thus, they referred to the Civil War as the War of the Rebellion.
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