A Country Divided: Slavery, the Civil War and Psychological Thought

A single issue that was discussed and debated not only separated a country but physically but started one of the greatest conflicts in this nation’s history and remained one of the most talked about topics of the time and it would leave a long standing result that would (and still does) give people the idea that past events that occurred still affect the mind today.

Slavery and the aftermath of it did (and still does mentally) create multiple challenges that gave people the idea that not only was this “peculiar institution” that was practice was wrong but immorally indecent and unjust. Even after the Civil War ended slavery still continued in the south (physically it ended with the 1865 passage of the Thirteenth Amendment) but mentally it was still there in the minds of blacks who would later on be discriminated against through the laws of Jim Crow, this would be the cause of the situation; the effects of it would be that slavers in the south thought that they would be set free like the other slaves but they were wrong and had the terrifying feeling that when taken away from their families they will never see them again and will not survive for long.

When it came to the psychological view of slavery slaveholders expressed the mental AND oral argument that African societies were uneducated savages and very useless. They insisted that slaves had no purpose whatsoever in any kind of society and had nothing to benefit let along offer but indentured servitude and were made profitable to the owners. They also felt that they lacked the basic ability to control their own lives and make their own decisions and were therefore better off in a system that ran their lives for them. We do not know what the psychological thoughts of what slaves were because there were no kind of data or documentation to acquire at that time but we do know that there was a huge disgust from them about how they were treated before and after slavery. The question that is asked is what did the enslaved think and what was their psychological view and so for. Like I stated before there really was no documentation on how they felt and what kind of mental situations that were going through their heads but we all do know the PHYSICAL problems that occurred and that played a role in the mentality of the slave.

What was the psychoanalytical thoughts and views of the Civil War? We all know the old adage that “war is hell” but why did one issue intersect with the thoughts, views and opinions of two different people that were intertwined by one situation that started a conflict and separated an entire country physically? We have the North, which wanted to preserve the union and end slavery (there were some sympathizers for the south) and the South, that wanted to continue on with their support and carrying out of their “peculiar institution” and profit off the backs and work of other human beings. Did starting a war bring about a psychosis in favor of or against slavery? In a sense it did because there was a battle between two groups not only battle wise but idealistic and philosophical (this is a historic/analytical blog so no philosophy will not be involved).

Argument from the North: Ending slavery is the right thing to do because it lets the other side know that this is ONE country and the ownership of another human being is not only wrong but it goes against the word that we are all equal in the eyes of God and freedom is a right that should not be denied. The South: We must preserve our actions and duties to own the slave because we know what is good for them and the work they provide for this region brings us economic wealth and prosperity plus letting them know that as long as they are here we will take care of them.

The North argues that it is wrong to carry out slavery because not only does it demoralizes another human being and inflicts the pain that is already brought on physically as well as mentally but the carrying out of slavery led to the cause of the country coming apart in the first place; the South’s psychological argument is that the enslaved do not know what they want and there is no constitutional amendment stating that slavery is not allowed (this will be the South’s future argument for states rights) and with them being bondage they are ACTUALLY being helped. This thought was seen as absolute redundant and hypocritical because advocating the freedom of rights does not give the right to own another person, and as far the war was concerned the very actions that are being carried out by enforcing slavery was the cause of the union to dissolve.

Regardless of what happened the whole conclusion of the situation is that ideas and opinions collided on the issue of slavery and because of that brought a devastating and bloody four-year civil war that killed thousands of innocents on both sides of the country all because of one issue and the psychological thinking that one viewpoint trumped another but both ran into a full collision course that damaged the country’s reputation and it took a full amendment passed by Congress in 1865 to abolish it.

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