American Civil War

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The American Civil War divided the nation. Some consider it to be a tragedy of incomparable proportions.  Others see it as a necessary lesson for Americans (and even the world) to experience in order to pave the way for progress in industrialisation, communication and freedom.

  • What does the American War teach us about peace and conflict?
  • Was the abolishment of slavery worth the carnage, violence and destruction?
  • What are some of the moral dilemmas that soldiers would have faced?

And importantly, is Inman justified in his decision to desert his country and flee? Explain your position by justifying it intelligently.

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42 responses

  1. I believe the American Civil War was an absolute tragedy, and if there was a way to avoid the carnage and bloodshed of fellow humans, surely anyone would choose to do so. However, when one imagines what kind of a world we could be living in without this war, it is easy to believe that it was a neccessary sacrifice for the greater good of the nation, and perhaps the world.
    The American Union and everything Lincoln stood for (equality as human beings, peace and prosperity for all peoples) are fundamental values that make up our (mostly) peaceful world today. It is a frightening thought to imagine what kind of country America would be, had the Confederates won the war.
    There would have been many definite moral dillemas for the soldiers, the tear between loyatly to your country and its cause, and your loyalty to yourself, and your morals. Perhaps many of the soldiers involved in the war did not believe in the cause at all, but served merely for their sense of duty.
    I believe Inman was entirely justitfied in his decision to desert. He saw and wholly believed that the war was a pointless cause, and he was right not to want to forsake his life for something he did not believe in. Despite the danger and the guise of ‘betrayal’ of one’s country, twenty years after the war the deserters would only be seen as the lucky ones that were spared.

  2. 1. What does the American War teach us about peace and conflict?

    The American Civil war teaches us that people do not need to be of different racial backgrounds, different ethnicities, different religions, or even different countries for conflict and war to occur. If one person or group believes strongly enough in their cause, they can turn an entire nation against itself.

    2. Was the abolishment of slavery worth the carnage, violence and destruction?

    Nothing justifies the means to the end, but the carnage of the war was only for its duration, the horrors of slavery if the war had not have occurred, would have been forever. This being said, the result of the war, with the abolishment of slavery, was
    positive.

    3. What are some of the moral dilemmas that soldiers would have faced?

    As the novel outlines, there were many moral dilemmas that the soldiers would have faced. In many cases morality was pitted against practicality. One instance outlined by Inman is after the battle of Petersburg: many men stole the boots of the Yankees. In this instance, soldiers had to face a major moral dilemma; it was wrong to steal from a dead body, but on the other hand they needed the boots, without them they had no shoes and run the risk of infections to their feet from cuts and scrapes.

    4. Is Inman justified in his decision to desert his country and flee?

    I think Inman is justified in his decision to desert his country and flee due to the fact that he no longer believed in the cause he was fighting for. I believe it is wrong that people kill to essentially get their own way, but it is even worse when people are forced to join in and fight for a cause when they do not hold the same views or opinions, or believe in what they are fighting for.

  3. – What does the American War teach us about peace and conflict?
    I believe the Civil War taught us a great deal about human nature and what we are capable of when our morals are challenged. Also the carnage and bloodshed in battle is very confronting and eye-opening for the public and leaders, motivating them to do everything in their power to keep it from happening again.

    -Was the abolishment of slavery worth the carnage, violence and destruction?
    In the long term, yes. The 4 year war was worth the 30 years (approximately) of African-American suffering at the hands of those who enslaved them. However, it is difficult to know whether the war could have been avoided altogether with the right communication between leaders and a potential compromise (don’t ask me what that may be). There are always shades of grey.

    – What are some of the moral dilemmas the soldiers would have faced?
    Definitely whether or not to steal from the deceased to improve one’s own chances at life. This choice is very similar to the ethical issue of organ and tissue donation after death. Would you perform such an invasive act to provide another with a potential means of saving their life? If I was a dead soldier, I certainly wouldn’t mind my belongings being taken. In fact, just the act of enlisting to fight to the death in a war for their people demonstrates that the soldiers have already subconsciously made this same decision. It’s not like they would have said “I will gladly and proudly sacrifice my life for my cause, but not my clothes… please! Don’t steal my clothes!”

    – Is Inman justified in his decision to desert his country and flee?
    I believe Inman is definitely justified in his decision. If his heart’s not in it and he doesn’t believe in/know what he is fighting for, then he is probably not going to be much use anyway. Our ethics generally shape our actions.

  4. 1. What does the American War teach us about peace and conflict?

    The American War teaches us pretty much what every other war has. It tells of the devastation war causes not only to those involved, but the whole nation. The American Civil War is indeed an intriguing circumstance, where a country finds itself fighting against its own people. Civil war impacts a nation on a larger psychological scale, where the enemy comes from within, rather than a distant land. The Civil War is a fantastic representation how the ideals of the wealthy, money hungry powers can lead to war and the subsequent demise of thousands of innocent soldiers. It also teaches us how to NOT go about establishing peace.

    2. Was the abolishment of slavery worth the carnage, violence and destruction?

    Its not right to say that anything is WORTH carnage, violence and destruction. War is never the favorable outcome of any dispute, though when looking at history in perspective, we are able to accept that terrible things have happened and their was nothing to do to prevent it. One thing a spectator of war can do is look at the positives war brings, and in this instance, the abolishment of slavery was a great feat. In America at this time, war was inevitable, and all we can do is be thankful that despite all the horror, we are able to look to the bright side of such a horrible event.

    3. What are some of the moral dilemmas that soldiers would have faced?

    Soldiers would of faced many moral dilemma’s, especially those who did not believe in the cause they were fighting for. Soldiers unwilling to fight would of faced the ethical decision to desert or engage in battle, each choice probably ending in their own deaths.

    4. And importantly, is Inman justified in his decision to desert his country and flee? Explain your position by justifying it intelligently.

    You can’t really answer this question without considering the opposing perspectives of both Inman and the confederate cause. To an outsiders perspective, of corse he can be justified, fighting for a land who used immoral methods to gain profit. Inman would only be obliged to fight for a nation he loved, and supported, but his mindset did not offer this support as he did not believe it to be the right thing. From a confederate perspective, Inman was in no way justified in leaving. He was deserting his land, a land that needed all the support possible. Inman was just in deserting, as the thing he was fighting for was not just in the first place.

  5. War, yuck.

    The American Civil War teaches us about the lengths groups of frustrated/conflicted people will go to when faced with an issue, which neither party can (or wishes) to solve peacefully and in a sensible, calm manner. It also, if death and broken families weren’t enough, left those who survived with unthinkable mental and physical and psychological wounds. Wars generally mean a particular problem became too large or complicated for big, proud people to come to an agreement that respectfully sees both sides of the story/issue without letting egos, reputations, greed and testosterone get in the way. War does, however, make a totally radical statement. And people tend to start cleaning out their ears and listening when a few hundred thousand men fall to their deaths for their almighty country. To get to a place of freedom for ALL Americans, something needed to be done, but again ulterior motives were in play: money, the industries in the North and their booming plans for a concrete-pathed future for the US.

    But. Do NOT get me wrong, no one I know is more for the equality of genders, races, classes, etc. than me. We are all equal, whether you believe in your god or your science or yourself, no one was ever meant to be treated like anything less than human. It does not excuse war though. Violence and battles are a dirty game where no team really wins. The spillage of so much blood for a concept so backward and out of fashion, even back then. Both sides must deal with tragedy, but for all those who go out to fight as well as those who sit at home eating fingernails awaiting their arrivals, who really thinks about all those naive boys, keenly relishing the thought of fighting their parents’ and grandparents’ fights, only to perish as a pawn in a game, so easily replaceable by the many more trigger-happy cadets to follow? Was the bloodshed worth it? To stop slavery? I think there are better ways to solve issues. Smarter ways. If women were able to have their say back then, perhaps we could have convinced our brave, protective men to just think about it a little harder, and then some more. Also, if they had just asked for the help of neighbouring lands, those with hearts, those who had abolished slavery already, things could have maybe turned out differently; cleaner.

    Cold Mountain: a story of true love, a brave but conflicted soldier, and his fair city maiden. The book really is based on this, the leaving of Inman and his journey back to a safe, romantic life. Obviously Frazier had something to say about this much-discussed war. To make a character abandon his very own country… For morals and love. I think the book would be just another soldier-dying-in-the-war story if Inman hadn’t found the courage to get out while he could.

    EQUALITY!

    • A very interesting, thoughtful response. And yes, his desertion does add another element to the book, one with a degree of ethics or morality attached.

  6. 1.The American civil war shows that war can exist within a country rather than between different countries. It shows that there will always be conflict among the human race due to different values or when the economy is involved. The civil war shows the brutality of war and makes us treasure the freedom of Australia.
    2.The abolishment of slavery was a step toward creating an equal society in America. True equality however may never occur as the human race is still considered racist today. Although the war was brutal and many lost their lives or the lives of loved ones, slavery had to end.
    3.War affects those involved emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally. During the war soldiers were faced with many moral dilemmas such as stealing from the dead and killing the opposing soldiers. Soldiers left their families behind and fought for their country. The natural human instinct of survival was apparent when soldiers resorted to stealing food and clothing from the deceased.
    4.I believe Inman has every right to leave the army. He was fighting against a cause he did not believe in. Inman was accepting toward the African Americans. He was dreadfully injured and received no support from the Southerner’s as he even had to clean his own wounds. Mentally, Inman was traumatised by war and was in desperate need to return to those he loved.

  7. The American Civil war was a bloody, prolonged battle between the North and Eastern states, with one pro-slavery and anti-slavery respectively. It taught us that the violence and destruction of war can severely damage men, both mentally and physically (as shown by Inman in Cold Mountain), tearing homes and families apart. In some ways, the war had to happen, the slavery conflict had to resolve, and war seemed to be the only viable answer. Soldiers faced moral dilemmas such as whether they should or should not pilfer from dead soldiers. At the end of the war, the Southerners were forced to steal as they were critically low in supplies. Also, men had to decide whether they’ll pilferage/rape/kill innocent bystanders: old men, women and children. In my opinion, Inman was fully justified to desert the army as Inman was opposed to the sentiments behind war and detested slaughtering the Yankees.

  8. What does the American War teach us about peace and conflict?

    •The American civil war was a war based on conflict of opinions, and the war taught the world that this conflict of opposing opinions cannot be solved by killing each other. The war was sort of ‘a turning point’ for the US, after the war the economy became stronger, the US retained their territory, and all-round America became ‘stronger’, allowing it to reach its status as such a powerful 1st World country.

    Was the abolishment of slavery worth the carnage, violence and destruction?

    •Yes and no. The abolishment of slavery was indeed a great outcome of the war for North America, but for the South, the amount of bloodshed and loss of their young soldiers was not worth starting a war to have this side effect of so many deaths.

    What are some of the moral dilemmas that the soldiers would have faced?

    •There are always moral dilemmas faced in war, regarding the need for survival for the soldiers. Having to take a deceased soldiers gear, rations and clothes in order to survive would have tested the mental strength of the soldiers, or even to kill a fellow man for a cause they did not believe in, to kill in cold blood, would have tested the soldiers.

    Is Inman justified in his decision to desert his country and flee?

    •I would say Inman is justified in his decision to flee the country. As he did not believe in what either the North or South were fighting for, and he did not believe that he was ‘worth’ anything to the war, and he did not want part in the bloodshed.

  9. ■What does the American War teach us about peace and conflict?
    The American Civil war divided the nation and was both a tragedy and a wakeup call. America and the rest of the world learnt that conflict of opinions cannot be resolved through war. As stated in previous comments it is extremely hypocritical to fight for peace through violence. Sadly, America only reached peace through war as the nation lacked communication skills.
    ■Was the abolishment of slavery worth the carnage, violence and destruction?
    The destruction of families and lives led to the abolishment of slavery. Slavery is an important issue and no one should be kept against their will. Even though lives were lost in the process of abolishing slavery, they saved others from a horrible life.
    ■What are some of the moral dilemmas that soldiers would have faced?
    Soldiers were faced with many moral dilemmas. The left their families back home and all they wanted was to come back from the war alive. Therefore, they would do anything to survive. They would steal people’s clothes and equipment, food and they had to face the reality of murder.
    And importantly, is Inman justified in his decision to desert his country and flee?
    Inman had served his country and was severely injured. He didn’t have much time left and he just wanted to be with the person he loved and to be happy, which every human being is entitled to. His decision to desert his country and flee was justified. He had served time and the war was damaging his outlook of the world. To save himself he had to leave.

  10. – What does the American War teach us about peace and conflict?
    The American war taught society about conflicting beliefs. In this instance, while one half of a country may believe slavery was worth it, the other half had an opposing opinion which resulted in an enormous outcry of violence to settle the dispute. The war has shown that peace, as much as everyone wishes for it, is not often found, and that conflict is nine times out of ten the first point of call when it comes to disagreements.

    – Was the abolishment of slavery worth the carnage, violence and destruction?
    As time progresses, so do traditions. Although the war did cause immense destruction, loss of lives and a complete economic down fall; the abolishment of slavery was well worth it.

    – What are some of the moral dilemmas that soldiers would have faced?
    Soldiers had to face moral dilemmas of: merciless killing, stealing clothing of dead soldiers, having to walk through fields of deceased bodies and leaving them there to rot and fester without a second thought.

    – Is inman justified in his decision to desert his country and flee?
    Inman was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t. I do think Inman is justified in his decision due to the treatment received while fighting, traumatic experiences from merciless killing and death was on the horizon for him whether he stayed to fight or flee back to Cold Mountain, where a potential amazing life was awaiting him.

    • Latching onto hope for a brighter future is critical for all of us and Inman certainly latched onto it to help him cope with so much hardship and tribulation.

  11. 1)
    A new nation will not prosper if the people are divided by two separate ideologies. The war has shown the world that most of the times, people with better intentions for the future can gain more support from others than those with selfish intentions. (The Union had 25 states and the Confederates had 11 states)

    2)
    Yes, it was. If any proud American back than, was to say that they believed in the virtues of their founding fathers, then the abolishment of slavery was inevitable. Thomas Jefferson, the third American President (1801-1809), stated in the Declaration of Independence “All men are created equal”, which was long before the Civil War. The American constitution would have been immoral and shameful, if slavery was to continue, as there would be no consistency of fairness or “Equality” in these founding laws.

    3)
    -The soldiers would have faced killing their own country-men, knowing that, they could have been a husband, a son, a brother or ruefully a father.
    -Also it is very likely that a large faction of the soldiers from both sides, whom did not agree with the motives of the war, but had no choice but to fight.
    – There might have been nonviolent soldiers who did not want to kill other people.
    -Some soldiers may have witnessed and disagreed with fellow soldiers, raping, stealing, murdering or destroying the opposing sides families but had no authority to do or act against it. If they did, they might be seen as traitors.
    – Some soldiers would return home to their families with a violent or unsound conscious, knowing that they have helped to murder many men or even assisted or took part in immoral acts of violence.
    – Soldiers would be living in constant fear, knowing that they could be killed at any moment.
    -Soldiers would miss their loved ones, and would face the risk of never seeing them again.

    4) Inman did not enjoy killing others and had some sense of sympathy. He only killed those who were a risk to his life. He felt that he had just as much chance dying on the battlefield as he did running away, back to Ada. Aside from being injured by the war, physically, he was mentally unrested too. He chose to run away back to Ada, and risk death that way rather than risking his life in the frontline. He believed that dying trying to be with Ada was a much better cause than to die in battle for a cause he was not too fond of. In the end his decision paid off, as he got to see Ada once again.

    • A very insightful response. And it did pay off, even if Inman did only get to see Ada for a brief time. I wonder if regrets would have developed…

  12. ■What does the American War teach us about peace and conflict?
    While in most cases of War, the key focus to retain peace is to induce a conflict filled with pain and suffering. The politicians of America at the time has displayed a lack of skills in negotiation to find a way out of this conflict. While the techniques used with in this war prtrayed great skill and knowledge, the scarification and brutal fued they inflicted is nothing to be applaued. Peace is a bitter sweet idea that must be earned-although the American war fasly reminds us that peace must be earnt through conflict.

    ■Was the abolishment of slavery worth the carnage, violence and destruction?
    The circumstances of slavery before the american cincluded selling of human beings for money, mis-treatment and violence and the destruction of family’s. The abolishment of slavery cleary displayed to regain the correct treatment of humans and their rights must be earnt through the brutal slaughter of men all in the name of good will to abolish a trade of carnage, violence and destruction of innocent human lives.
    ■What are some of the moral dilemmas that soldiers would have faced?
    While the list may venture of for each individual differently, personally a core moral dilemma would be to just able “keep calm and carry on”. It was just you out there, to win this game of Civil War, you had to forget that every man in this war is somebody’s son, probably somebody’s husband or better yet-somebodys father. To survive this war you had to push past your virtuous morals and be a monster.

    With the little time Inman had left, he had nothing to loose. He fled in hope to be reunited with Ada, allowing for a journey of self awareness and the abiloty to reuinite himself with his lost morals.

    • It’s so hard to imagine the death and destruction. So hard to imagine the gore and agony inflicted on human beings. And so hard to imagine doing it to others. And I suppose you are right – he didn’t have anything to lose.

  13.  The American Civil War showed the world and fellow Americans that unity and peace does come at a price and in this case, the horrible fight that occurred. It warned governments and others that people will go to extreme lengths to defend what they believe in and how aggressive people can be.
     Yes I believe that the carnage, violence and destruction was worth it as it was for the greater good and thus brought equality within America. Although thousands and thousands of lives were lost and this is saddening and shouldn’t be overlooked, the mere fact that slavery was almost abolished after was a big success for the Lincoln government.
     Soldiers that fought in the war had barely any ethics or regard for any life of the opposite army as they would take boots and clothes of severely wounded or dead soldiers, then continue on with war as though it was nothing. War crimes were at its highest during this civil war as both sides only wanted to see the other wiped out.
     I believe that there is two sides of looking at whether Inman’s decisions were justified or not. If you were to look at him physical with his injury and the condition he was in, both mentally and physically, then yes by all means should he have left otherwise it would have been just another dead body in the mud. But it was not morally correct to leave your comrades behind in pursuit of a woman and an escape from the tragedy is not justifiable.

    • Leaving comrades is a really important issue, one that hasn’t been raised by anyone else – and not one that I had even thought about. Insightful.

  14. 1. The world learned that peace is somthing to treasure as the civil war tore the country apart. As a result of the war their were many lives lost, bad deeds done on and off the battle feild. All of these aspects further heightened the importance of peice to the rest of the world and many of the American citizens.

    2. Yes. There was no avoiding the war, A. Lincoln tried to avoid a civil war but the South was determined to prove a point. The rest of the world had given up slavery however America had not followed in the South. If the North had not told the South to stop it would only be a matter of time before a foreign country did.

    3. The biggedt moral dilema would be fighitng for a cause that you didn’t belive, this was not the only dilema though. Others that some soldiers would have faced were; What makes my life more important then his? Leaving their own family behind, Killing another persons husband / farther etc.

    4. I belive that leaving the war was the right choice by Inman. It would of been imoral to himself to continue fighting. By fighitng the war he was killing other people and supporting the poor living conditions of the slaves.

  15. 1. The American Civil War taught the world many different aspects of necessary change. It showed the world that it is entirely hypercritical and insane to fight for peace through violence, what once was a peaceful country turned against themselves to kill one another. Peace and conflict contradict one another if a conflict is begun to fight for peace. It simply does not make any sense however through this war (and the great depression), America reached where it is today.

    2. The Civil war was not avoidable and had to take place. No human being should ever be kept without consent/enslaved so therefore, despite the violence and destruction; the abolishment of slavery was and is extremely important.

    3. Moral dilemmas are faced regularly however for the men (and few women) of the civil war, dramatic trauma would have been suffered morally. Both parties of the North and South would have faced moral dilemmas such as murder, stealing and leaving their loved ones however survival was key. To steal a dead mans boots or coat would have been seen as wrong was it not for their own means to survive. The same can be said about murder in many ways however the challenge of killing another human being who just like themselves, had been sent to war, would have been extremely difficult for some soldiers.

    4. Inman did not desert his country as he had already fought bravely and strong in the war and had returned only because he was injured. The war put aside his beliefs of equality so therefore he had no part or personal ‘drive’ to continue fighting in the war. Inman had served his time for his country and it was time for him to return to his home and those he loved.

  16. 1. What does the American War teach us about peace and conflict?
    The American Civil War was a conflict which the United States could not avoid. If the Confederacy had been allowed to secede from the Union, the US would have lost 11 of its states and approximately half of its territory. As much as I hate the cliché, the United States was literally torn in two. Without the Civil War, the USA would have been divided in its aims indefinitely, and would have never reached the global superpower status that it claims today.

    2. Was the abolishment of slavery worth the carnage, violence and destruction?
    Yes. If the United States had founded its beliefs on the idea of all men being equal, how could it allow nearly 4 million people to continue working as slaves? Between 600,000 and 700,000 casualties were taken by both sides during the war, and despite that making the American Civil War the costliest war the United States had ever participated in, it succeeded in abolishing slavery and effectively ended the slave trade. If this great conflict had not occurred, imagine if the United States still instituted slavery today. Nearly 10% of the US population, approximately 30,700,000 people, would own nearly as many slaves.

    3. What are some of the moral dilemmas that soldiers would have faced?
    The extremely high amount of casualties in the Civil War would have shown the inexperienced Union and Confederate recruits the horrors of war first-hand. The comparatively crude weapons, strategies and medical facilities/knowledge would have only added to this horror, and it is no surprise to me that many poorly trained troops, who mostly fought for their families and not their country, deserted from either side. To me, this completely justifies Inman’s decision to desert the Confederacy. Whether or not he would have survived had he remained in the army is another matter.

    • Yes, you are correct. The war was also about land, not just slavery and of course, what government is ever going to willingly secede territory? Certainly not a strategist like Abraham Lincoln. Anyway, the more I read about the war, the more I become aware that Lincoln was an extraordinary leader in an incredibly difficult and divisive time.

  17. 1. The civil war in the US shows us that total peace will never be attained, and even a relatively peaceful country can turn against themselves and kill one another. It has also reinforced the statement ‘there is a silver lining to every situation’, as during and after the war Amedrica’s economy went through a period of rapid growth, and turned the US into what it is today.

    2. Of course, it is a matter of opinion whether slavery was worth the carnage. However, during the war the white people got distracted from using black people as slaves, and instead were being treated like slaves by their corporals and generals. Eventually, slavery did get abolished, and the US is probably now better off because of it; however, I don’t think it should have taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of people to do it. Nevertheless, even if the south did win the war, it would have only taken a matter of time before slavery got banned anyway.

    3. Being treated like slaves themselves would have been one of the major eye-openers for the southern white people, whilst also experiencing the deaths of their mates and witnessing others looting their own soldiers.

    4. I believe Inman is justified in leaving the war. He has been deeply traumatised by his experienced, and the southern army did not offer him any support and, in stead, left him on his own to die. Even though I do not know what I would do if I was in Inman’s shoes, he still deserves the right to leave the battle and put his life (or what’s left of it) back together.

    • It’s an interesting idea that slavery would eventually have been abolished, and quite possibly without the bloodshed experienced by Americans of the time – indeed, what a terrible thing to have experienced. If only…

  18. 1. The American Civil War shows us how war can tear an entire nation in two, and how far people will go to fight for justice.
    2. Although the war was incredibly brutal it was very important and it was worth carnage, violence and destruction in order to abolish slavery.
    3. Moral dilemmas the soldiers would have faced would have been things like what to do with prisoners of war and looting the cadavers of not only their defeated enemies but also their fallen comrades.

  19. ■What does the American War teach us about peace and conflict?
    Like any other war, the American War shows how brutal and inhumane war is. It also shows that there will always be some sort of conflict between communities, people, etc. and who will never fully at peace due to different opinions and beliefs. However, in agreeing with what Isobel said, sometimes peace can only be achieved through conflict, as it has a lesson to be taught.

    ■Was the abolishment of slavery worth the carnage, violence and destruction?
    For the North, the violence and destruction was worth the abolishment of slavery and was Lincoln’s prime opportunity to demonstrate the superiority of the North and to mold America into a country of equality.

    ■What are some of the moral dilemmas that soldiers would have faced?
    Soliders on either armies were faced with moral dilemmas. This including stealing clothes of the dead soliders to keep themselves warm, and merciless killings.

  20. What does the American War teach us about peace and conflict?

    The American War conveys to us just how brutal a war can be. This conflict and brutality did evidently leave scars on the land, the soldiers who fought (for either side) and their families. However, the peace that eventually came about after the American War was a result of the initial conflict. Therefore the American War teaches us the bittersweet truth that sometimes peace can only be obtained through conflict.

    Was the abolishment of slavery worth the carnage, violence and destruction?

    Honesty, I believe that the abolishment of slavery was inventible during that time period, it was quickly becoming out dated and people were finally recognizing the inhumanity of it. If war, carnage, violence and destruction was the only way for the South of America to succumb to the incoming anti-slavery laws than yes, it was worth it.

    What are some of the moral dilemmas that soldiers would have faced?

    All soldiers of war face the moral dilemma of taking another’s life, and killing mercilessly – morals that become less significant on a battlefield than in normal life. A moral dilemma in this war however, particularly for the soldiers like Inman, was the merciless killing for a cause that does not affect them – Inman, as well as many other soldiers I assume, did not even have slaves. The goatwoman in Cold Mountain raises a good question, “was it worth it, all that fighting for the big man’s nigger?”

    Is Inman justified in his decision to desert his country and flee?

    I believe he is. Like the question the goatwoman raises, he was fighting for a cause that does not affect him or the ones he loves. I know that if I was in his position I would flee too, he joined the army on his own accord and he should have the right to leave it on his own accord as well.

  21. 1.) The American Civil War teaches us that when a product (example cotton) is discovered and starts to shape a countries economic future there will always be conflict. The civil war broke out over the conflict of slavery, however keeping in mind that death or an end to something is inevitable this means that the Civil war eventually had to come to an end – and as a result of that taught the country many lessons.
    2.) Yes!! Violence will eventually, someday, bring peace and if the Civil war had never occurred slavery in American would have never been abolished and their country would not be run by equality.
    3.) Soldiers were faced with moral dilemmas such as either steal another dead soldier’s boots and survive but live with the guilt of stealing them, or not steal them and death greet them sooner than they wished.
    4.) Despite how strongly you feel towards fighting for your country, I believe that every soldier out there wishes that they weren’t out on the field slaughtering other innocent men. Inman was wise in his decision, his moment of self-awareness gave him insight into realising that the longer he fights the more his soul and conscience would be destroyed.

    • Hmmmmm. I think that perhaps there are some men who enjoy life on the battlefield enormously – not the carnage and the violence, but the mateship and comradeship etc. Remember that men today voluntarily sign up for armed forces.

  22. What does the American War teach us about peace and conflict?

    The American War showed everyone that a war could also arise within the country (America) not just different countries fighting each other. It shows that peace and conflict will never come to a rest, because there may not be any wars between countries but there will always be a civil war or small groups fighting within a country.

    Was the abolishment of slavery worth the carnage, violence and destruction?

    It depends on what you believe in, although the America war stopped slavery it did not stop slavery worldwide. There is still slavery around the world happening right now. It may have been worth it for the North because they wanted slavery to stop but the South fought back because they wanted to keep slavery. In the end the carnage, violence and destruction did stop slavery in America, however it did not stop racism or worldwide slavery….

    What are some of the moral dilemmas that soldiers would have faced?

    Although the two sides the North and South were enemy’s they would have still had to face moral dilemmas such as stealing to survive and keep warm and killing an American just like themselves.

    And importantly, is Inman justified in his decision to desert his country and flee? Explain your position by justifying it intelligently.

    Inman may have deserted his country but he was injured and was fighting a war he did not have any side in. Inman knew he was recovering soon and they sent any injured person back to the battlefield once they felt they were ready. Inman’s decision to leave the war was by his own morals and his beliefs.

  23. 1) The American Civil War acted as a warning to governments and societies around the world about the lengths to which individuals/groups will go to partake in self-preservation of their ideologies and morals. Furthermore, the conflict demonstrates the brutality of mankind and our insatiable need to reign supreme.
    2) The abolition of slavery was a monumental step toward equality in America and consequently resulted in several ethical changes in the modern world. However, the level of anguish, carnage and violence caused by the conflict similarly resulted in the lack of unity in America. Whilst the war allowed Lincoln to demonstrate the North’s moral superiority, the sheer mass of lives that were ruined is inexcusable.
    3) Throughout the entire American Civil War, a lack of ethics and morality resulted in the cruel and horrifying acts that have been recounted since the event. Moral dilemmas such as choosing whether or not to steal an enemy’s belongings for personal gain were prevalent; however, the physical need to survive surpassed the ethical obligations of soldiers. War crimes such as execution, torture and pillage were undoubtedly common furthering the destruction of a soldiers ‘soul’ and conscience.
    4) In terms of Inman’s desertion from the Confederate Army, apart from his physical injuries Inman suffered far greater emotional and psychological damage which, in a time of war, would not have been of consideration in determining whether a soldier was combat capable. Moreover, Inman had every right to desert a warmonger nation that believed in the cruel treatment of the ‘lower classes’- his morals prevailed over his pride.

    • Yes. Unfortunately, war is a terribly destructive beast that ravages everything in its path, scarring and traumatising many. It also shapes nations in dynamic, violent ways, forging history that affects generations.

  24. 1. The American Civil War teaches the rest of the world that even a country can turn against each other when people believe in different things. The War shows that there never can always be just peace and that there will always be some kind of conflict in the world wether it is country against country or town against town.
    2. For the North of America the Civil War was worth all the destruction and violence, as the outcome was in their favour. No more slavery. However it never cleared racism. For the South it was a carnage of their young soliders, fighting agaisnt a much larger army, whom were equipped with more modern guns, the South lost a violent and depressing war for those who belived in keeping slavery.
    3. Soliders on both the South and North armies would have faced moral dilemmas such as stealing and killing. The South, having no coats, boots or socks would often steal the clothing of the dead North soliders, this, being considered as wrong was now nothing for the South as they had nothing. Prisoners in war were always a pain, many badly injured would often be killed out of the battlefield, this conisdered as manslaughter, would now be thourght as fine, as it worked out for both, the prisoner over with pain and the captering having the prisoner out of the way.
    Inman was a person that didn’t believe in either for and against slavery, he didn’t belive that his presence in the War was worth anything if he didn’t want a part of the violence for a cause that he didn’t believe in.

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