The true failure of sectionalism. Is it reemerging?

Sectionalism was a major aspect of the Civil War, both as a leading cause to the war, as well as a prevailing idealism within the Union and Confederate war strategies. A growing divide between the Northern abolitionist ideology and the Southern slavery-oriented society. These differences have been seen anytime a new state applied for statehood, raising the question of whether said state should be a free state or a slave state. Conflicts arising from admitting new states grew more and more violent, as seen in the bloodbath that became Kansas when popular sovereignty became the answer to the free or slave state question.

The North and the South viewed each other as rivals, and every time one gained an advantage, or won on a certain issue, the other viewed it as a loss, rather than a mutual victory for the country as a whole. As these feelings of antagonism grew stronger, compromise between North and South became nothing short of a dream.

This led to the outbreak of the Civil War, which was a fight not to find a solution that both sides would find acceptable, but a fight to put both ideals to the ultimate test, and see which one would emerge victorious, to see which one was better.

Have We really learned from the mistakes of the past, or are We on Our way to repeating the same mistakes that Our forefathers have made 150 years ago?

While most people can view the current situation of the legislature as simple disagreements or stubbornness, the underlying idealism that causes this huge inefficiency in the government is exactly the one that caused the Civil War, sectionalism.

There are two political parties, yet neither wants to discuss the problems, neither wants to find a resolution to the problems, and neither wants to compromise. What the parties are doing is trying to destroy the opposing party, using a “ we are not great, but they’re worse” tactic in persuading people to join the given party’s stance on any given issue.

As Abraham Lincoln once said, “a divided house cannot stand”. Look for a resolution that satisfies both groups, and not one that gives one side everything, and the other side nothing. Republicans, why not try proposing something that both parties can support? Democrats, why not try to listen to your constituents? Obama isn’t the only person in the government that won an election.

Most importantly, do not let your ideological differences come in the way of solving problems facing the nation. Who knows, if these partisan ideals continue, you might be inciting the Second Civil War.

The White House. President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the Oval Office. Digital image. N.p., 29 Nov. 2012. Web. 14 Dec. 2013.


13 thoughts on “The true failure of sectionalism. Is it reemerging?

  1. I agree with how you say that sectionalism is a problem that was one of the causes of the civil war, but without sectionalism our country couldn’t really survive. The reason each state has its own representatives is to represent each section of the nation and show their different interests and concerns. Sectionalism arose from that and compromise was the only way to deal with it. Nowadays it is harder to make compromises considering the volatile issues and the catering each party does to its financial backers.

  2. I love how you connected modern times with American history in your blog post. I don’t think sectionalism is reemerging because the conflicts and issues in Congress now is different from the issues that aroused in the 1800s but your blog post is very original. Additionally, I like the photo you posted because it represents one of the many issues we face in Congress: the ability to agree on things.

  3. Even though I see what your post is trying to say, I do not think that the current issues that separate the two leading political parties are serious enough to lead to a second Civil War. The current issues that split the parties just consist of moral and economic differences. If the differences did lead to another Civil War, then both sides moral and economic goals would be hindered.

  4. I acknowledge the point you are making with this, but I personally do not think that we are reemerging on sectionalism yet. the concept of slavery vs. abolition was a huge divide in the society and government of the United States of America, and i do not believe that there is yet a divide in modern society that comes to that level. Some may argue that gay marriage is that issue, but I think that it won’t emerge as sectionalism. All in all, there would have to be a huge divide in ideologies that ushers in a new era of sectionalism.

  5. I liked that you connected the sectionalism of the past to how America is today. I think that it’s interesting that while times are different and events and issues have changed, there is an economic and political occurrence that happened centuries ago that may still be happening here today, but in a different way. You made a good point here.

  6. Most people think of the Civil War as something of the past, but I think it is great that you are showing how certain important parts of the Civil War (i.e sectionalism) are present, or reemerging in today’s society. Obviously sectionalism isn’t usually a good thing, but it is interesting to wonder if we might be on the path to repeating history.

  7. Your title immediately drew me in and your writing kept me interested. I find a “Second Civil War” extreme, but then again nobody thought the Civil War would last longer than 90 days. Despite my opinion, I do agree that politicians do need to be more cooperate and compromising. For goodness sakes, out government has even shut down!

  8. I definitely agree that sectionalism was one of the causes for the Civil War but I also believe that it is not reemerging….yet. I agree with Dante that for sectionalism to truly reemerge there would have to be a really divisive issue.

  9. I see what you’re saying here about sectionalism, and I acknowledge that sectionalism was something that really contributed to the Civil War, but I really do not see disagreements among the Democrats and Republicans as something that could start an entire Second Civil War. The issues that the Democrats and Republicans are bickering over, in my opinion, are not big enough to cause an entire war. They are, in my opinion once more, two faces of the same ruling-class coin. They really do not provide a wide scope of opinions, so civil war isn’t very likely to happen in this fashion.

  10. This was a well written post, and I additionally love how your topic revolved around sectionalism because that sparked a great interest in me while reading about the Civil War, knowing fully well that a good amount of the cause was influenced by this. I do think that after nearly a century and a half, and in our contemporary world today, so much has changed for this to even occur again, even at a small scale. I understand that we can relate the fiery feeling behind sectionalism of the North and South with the political dissonance of the Democrats vs. Republicans, but we’ve acquired a strong sense of nationalism along the way, and I truly believe that’s what we prioritized the most- the underlying unity of this nation.

  11. Tying in the events of the Civil War to events occurring today allows for a very unique approach to history and how it does (and does not) repeat itself. While I see where you are coming from, and while I feel you did make some important points, I would have to concur with the others here that the disagreements today are not the same as the disagreements during the time leading up to the Civil War, and that we are too different of a nation now to allow such a thing to happen. However it is true that compromise is something that the members of our government need to learn how to do, because it really is not happening between them, and we as citizens of this nation are the ones to feel the repercussions of this truth.

  12. I agree that the two political parties are very very different and how their refusal to compromise shows that sectionalism does fail. However, I don’t believe that the differences are so extreme as to cause another Civil War. I feel that we have learned enough from that time period to not allow the same things to happen today. Democrats and Republicans have very different goals and disagree on many things, but both political parties are committed to keeping America a unified country. Occasionally they will still compromise too. I feel that they should compromise a lot more though.

  13. I was immediately attracted by your title as I find it interesting when we people connect historic happenings with current events. Although I agree that sectionalism still exists in contemporary America, I find your argument about a second civil war quite extreme. The issues that we face today are not as divisive as those that started the civil war. Additionally times have changed. If a “second civil war” were to occur, it’s nature would likely be very different from the one that took place 150 years ago; it would necessarily be military.

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