American Identity Essay Research Paper The American — страница 2

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Ten other states followed and the Civil War was not far behind. Identity of this one nation was lost with sectionalism. The south wanted to become their own union. The dreams that the original thirteen colonies hoped for were lost and so was any identity established. Slavery was a huge problem for the states. Southern plantations were swamped with black slaves. The south believed in slavery, contrary to northern beliefs. The north felt slavery was a contradiction to the saying ?All men are created equal? because they were still holding men in bondage. The north opposed the further extension of slavery. The North created a powerful impulse toward social reform?emancipation of the slaves as well as temperance. The south felt that any opposition to slavery would make them slaves.

They thought racial defense of slavery justified it. Slavery came down to a moral issue. The north consisted of many abolitionists. Abolitionism grew due to charismatic leaders (Wendell Phillips etc..). Also because slavery was outlawed in England abolitionists were urging everyone to end sinful practices. This when the evangelical revolution began in the north. Most abolitionists were young women that were married to rich men. They felt like they were doing good with their time. Abolitionists only took up 25%of the northern population, so they were the minority. Abolitionist used propaganda, gag rules (1846-1854 no issues of slavery allowed in congress), the Compromise of 1850 (California would be a free state, but the free slave law was passed to catch runaway slaves) and the

Dred Scott decision to fight against slavery. Abolitionist did not want blacks to become regular citizens. They did not believe they deserved the same rights as white men, but they believed they should not be owned and tortured by any other man. Slavery split families and degraded the African culture. Slaves lived to serve their masters and that went against their constitution. The South believed slaves were an asset. Farmers produced masses of crops because of all the field hands they had. However, the Northeast did indirectly depend on slave labor (the textile industry). As the West grew so did slavery. Slavery was spreading west and inching it?s way north. With this type of separation there can be no identity. The north was paranoid that the south was conspiring to overthrow

the north and use slavery everywhere. The south had the idea of secession. They thought, ?there was a higher law than the constitution? (Sward). The south and the north ostracized each other. At this point the north had it?s own identity. The north was rich, powerful, going through a religious revival. The south had it?s own identity as well. The south wanted to break from the union. They were the poor farmers (large plantations were prosperous), old-fashioned, parsimonious and greedy. The idea of coming together to form one nation was gone. Freedom was a common goal for all. Now that they have it they forgot why they were there. Identity was lost in the need for power and money. The south will continue to resist modernization due to slavery. It only gets worse as upcoming

elections emerge. Major political events destroyed the idea of an American identity as well. Even before George Washington there was an early opposition to political parties. A political party is a group of people organized around principles who want political power in order to put these principles into power. They felt this way because most English theorists opposed them. In England they had two political parties: Whigs and Tories (terrorists and thieves). In the beginning Americans didn?t want separate parties because they were supposed to be united and they did not want separate groups. George Washington felt political parties were evil and needed to be crushed (notes). James Madison described them as evil, but natural. He wanted a system of checks and balances so not one

party had complete control. In 1789 Washington became the first president. He was very conservative. Hamilton was not. He split and began to develop his own views. He wanted a strong central government, power to elitists, national credit and banking, and good ties with England. Thomas Jefferson wanted more states? rights and more democracy. Washington formed the Federalists and Jefferson formed the Republicans. Hey both became parties without realizing it. They even went as far as to accuse others of being in political parties. Republicans feared Federalists would take complete control of power. The beginning of political parties contradicted the American idea of belonging to one group. It seemed, as everyone wanted something different in his or her government. The unity of the