The Changing War: Interplay of the Military, Economic, Social & Political
NPS Primary Theme: Begun as a purely military effort with the limited political objectives of reunification (North)or independence (South), the Civil War transformed into a social, economic and political revolution with unforeseen consequences. As the war progressed, the Union war effort steadily transformed from a limited to a hard war; it targeted not just Southern armies, but the heart of the Confederacy’s economy, morale, and social order—the institution of slavery.
NPS Secondary Theme: Failures on the battlefield and the expansion of the Union war effort to include the abolition of slavery, degradation of the Confederate economy, and the imposition of hardship on Southern civilians hardened the resolve of white Confederates to carry the war to a successful conclusion in some cases, while it demoralized some to the point of such desperation, they deserted. It also engendered intense debate within the North, giving rise to opposition to the draft, urban violence, and a vocal peace party that threatened to defeat Lincoln’s efforts to reunify the Nation and expunge slavery.
- NPS Subtheme: Confederate success (independence) required merely that its territory be defended; Union success (reunification and eventually emancipation) required invasion of the South, defeat of Confederate armies, and occupation of Southern territory.
NOTE: Please use the comments section below to chronicle your progress with this theme throughout the remaining weeks of the course. Begin by outlining how your group decided to work with the theme (e.g., assigning one theme to one person or dividing themes up between team members) and then outline in detail, at least once each week, the work that you have done toward crafting your three podcast proposals.