Journal Postings

Group D

01/22/02 (The Missing Peace)


Matt McMahon

A lot of people do not take in account things that happened and formed from the civil war. Many kids my age look at the civil war as something we had to learn in history. They also look at it as North and South divided with two different leaders who wanted two totally different things. A lot of eyes see Abraham Lincoln as the leader for the north who was against slavery when the matter of the fact is that Abraham Lincoln actually wasn’t against slavery.

Many things that were used and formed during the civil war are still in use today as well. Take the musket for instance. Older muskets were very unreliable and not very accurate at all. By cutting grooves on the inside of the barrel made them much more accurate and at longer distances as well. This is something that is still used in most guns today. It has been improved on and has helped in many other wars. Another very important development was the start of the Red Cross. The Red Cross has provided so much for the medical world and is continuing in saving many lives.

Another interesting thing that I got from the reading was about the infantrymen not firing their guns or missing on purpose. I was never aware of this. Once I started thinking about it though, it would be really hard to shoot at fellow countrymen. I mean when we are at war with another country they are considered different. For example; we were shooting at the Taliban. It is totally different when you say we were shooting at the Americans because we are Americans. It feels like you are talking about people that are related to you. It brings a totally different perspective of the person in your sights.

One person that stuck out of the reading to me was Oliver Wendell Holmes. I agree with a lot of what he had to say. His saying about the message being divine stands out very vividly. I feel that with his experience in the war helped make what he did so useful as well.


Kelly Sander                   


Brittney Selden 

I came across the website as follows:  .....While I was reading this article, what I found kind of surprised me about President Lincoln. He wrote a letter to Horace Greeley, an editor of the New York Tribune, who was against slavery. I found out that President Lincoln wrote Greeley, and explained how his soul purpose of emancipation of slavery was only for trying to save the Union. If there was any other way to save the Union he would try that, he really didn't care whether slavery stayed or not. Here I thought he was the famous president that was against slavery when really all he carried about was saving the Union. He just cared about his constitutional duties and not about what slavery was doing to actual human beings.


Bukombe Shindika 


Jon Spradling


Scott Van Eman

The reading for today focused on the Civil War and the reconstruction following the war. As before the reading focused on non-violent approaches and alternatives to the war that were not pursued.

One of the main focuses of this reading was the “actual” reason for the war. Juhnke and Hunter try to downplay the slavery issue of the war and show the influence  the seceding of the states of union had. I could definitely identify with the book on this point. Although we are taught that the abolition of slavery was the reason for the Civil War, keeping the nation intact was much more important to the politicians of that time. Like in our previous reading I found the book’s non-violent solutions ineffective. In my opinion, Juhnke and Hunter seem to propose solutions that do not cover the entire problems of the war.

In the case of the Civil War, would non-violence approaches have been affective? No war at all would have stopped the violence that is included in the war, but what about the violence the slaves were under. Isn’t slavery a form of violence in itself. All the non-violent proposals seem to just stop violence involving whites.

Juhnke and Hunter say, “After World War II the U.S. Army reformed its training system and successfully increased the percentage of killers in its ranks.” What a totally ignorant and unneeded statement. A military man or women that is forced to kill for their country does not deserve the label of a “killer”. The statement is disrespectful in every way. Pacifist or not, the people that have served in the military deserve a certain amount of respect from their fellow citizens.

This reading did not change my opinion on the Civil War. I feel the war was needed and that the non-violent proposals would not have been effective in the end. 




Philip Whitley

The chapter that was read brought up a brief point concerning what would have happened had the US let the CSA 'go in peace.'  The author mentioned that surely the CSA had it retained its slaves could not have advanced into the 20th century still harboring such practices.  The article above adds some validity to this notion.  Even early on in the 1800's there were serious issues with slaves and slaveholders.  This article shows that had the CSA won then it would have had to face these issues.  This article shows the first slave rebellion in the US and it was foiled.  There are other documented slave rebellions and it would have only been time before another one of this magnitude would have come around again.  Would the CSA be ready to take it?  Indeed there were other ways besides the Civil War to have dealt with secession.  The Confederate states, which based themselves on state rights over the federal rights, would have had to deal with the issues of slave rebellions on their own leading to problems much akin to those of the early USA under the Articles of Confederation.  I would have to say that I agree with the authors of the book when they pose their scenarios showing that the Confederacy would not have lasted.  Also when and if the Confederacy did drop the slavery issue they would have instantly lost over 33% of their work force.  This would send the government into severe depression and inflation would lead to even worse conditions.  In retrospect there were better ways to deal with the issue of the secession of the states and I for one believe that if we would have let they go peacefully either they would come back to the US in time or just become one more country. 

Ryan Zeman

After reading this chapter I was surprised on how much blame they placed on Abraham Lincoln for causing the Civil War. Throughout the chapter they bashed his decisions and views on aspects causing this war. For example, he could have avoided the war all together if he would have had a more compromising approach to slavery and how to rid the south of it.

The first part of the chapter talks about the different approaches that the union could have chosen rather that defending the union in a forceful matter. The first option was proposed by Horace Greenly, titled Let Them Go in Peace, this talks about how through words and careful compromising we could have avoided the war all together. This seems to be the traditional Mennonite approach; Greenly uses the pros of slavery to support his theory. He backs up his statements by saying that slavery was not that bad because it helped the economy stay steady, because of the positive outcomes produced by the slaves working in the fields. Although Greenly opposed slavery he still says that there was no need for war, he believed that the seceding states were too divided and independent to create a successful confederacy. Would the war have happened if Lincoln took this approach? The other approach was through pure compromise. It seemed that the authors of this book, firmly believe ! that Lincoln was a major cause of this war. He would not even consider compromise at all. I personally did not know that he was like this. It was a shock to me that Abraham Lincoln would not budge a little bit to save the lives of many Americans. It states that after he was elected he was in hiding for several months and would not talk to too many people. It seemed like he did not take an active peaceful approach to the war. He wanted to use force to defend the union, and that is what he did, which seems to be an unneeded decision that could have been avoided. The web site I found,  dealt with Abraham Lincoln and had a lot of information about the war. One thing that interested me was a speech that they said was not released, it contain many strong opinions Lincoln had on abolishing slavery and combining all of the anti-slavery movements to unite a strong force.

I think that the civil war could have been avoided with a more peaceful approach, but slavery needed to stop and this was a sure way of stopping, but caused many tragedies and heartaches.


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