Secession and Civil War Questions and Answers

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Why is the American Civil War important in terms of world history? Undoubtedly it was a war that greatly shaped America, and its causes and consequences still impact Americans today. But why is the American Civil War important on a global level?

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Inuk Lee eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Great question. One way to answer the question is to say what happens in America is important to the rest of the world. This is because of globalization. In the 19th century this was not as apparent, but world history would go in this direction. Therefore, the Civil War (1861-1865), one of the most significant events in American history, would shape the world.

The Civil War determined what kind of nation America would become, as it grappled with two questions. First, would the United States be dissolvable into sovereign states or would there be national government over the states. Second, would slavery be prohibited, because all men were created equal? This last question was particularly important because America was the largest slave owning country in the world.

The Civil War gave its answers. The United States would be one, and slavery would be abolished, and in time it was. 

From an international point of view, eventually America would lead the way in these areas. America would champion a democratic form of government and stand up for equal rights. America did not do this immediately, but with the passage of time America was seen to champion these causes. Had America dissolved into states and allowed slavery, the world would be a very different place. 

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shellbz | Student

It opened the world's eyes to the problem facing American government. The civil war allowed for people to see that change was necessary and people needed this to build a country that makes a difference. It also allowed for a holistic development that not only propelled the country into being more understanding but also brought the nation together.

lexil0 | Student

The American Civil War was important on a global scale for many reasons- one reason being the innovation that came from the waR. The Civil War brought advancement in weapons and medicine.