What differences existed within each of the three major groups?I think the three groups were the republican party, confederates, and the freedpeople.  I am not sure, so that is why I am asking the...

What differences existed within each of the three major groups?

I think the three groups were the republican party, confederates, and the freedpeople.  I am not sure, so that is why I am asking the question.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think that I can see two of the groups being accurate.  The Confederates were representative of the Southerners that favored owning slaves and were simply tired of the North trying to dictate policy against the wishes of the South.  They saw the Civil War as a fight for regional pride and their own way of life.  The Republican Party as of 1860 was headed by Lincoln, and was a party that sought to preserve the Union and ensure that slavery was not expanded into the North.  Some genuine abolitionists joined the Republican cause, but the party was more driven by the idea that the Southern secession that was being threatened could not be tolerated and had to be faced.  It's the third group with which I am having some difficulty.  Perhaps, we could broaden it to include "African- Americans."  In this group, one would have those who were free or those who ran from slavery, as well as those who were slaves.  I would say that the fundamental difference between this group and the other two was the nature of their experience.  Whereas Republicans and Confederates had their own academic and sometimes theoretical debates over the nature of slavery, it was the African- American group that had to endure its reality every moment.  Even freed Black Americans or Black Americans in the North who were never enslaved recognized how painful the predicament was, one that was based on the color of one's skin and one's own background.  Coming up with this group as the third group highlights the reality that Black Americans at the time had an entirely different experience than the Republicans or the Southerners, helping to increase the understanding that the issue of race was a very definitive one in the Civil War times, and lasted for some time after.

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