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Current time:0:00Total duration:7:21
KC‑5.3.I.D (KC)
Unit 5: Learning Objective I
WOR (Theme)

Video transcript

so in the last video Sal and I were talking about the Civil War Battle of Antietam and Antietam took place in Maryland on September 17th 1862 and just to briefly recap Antietam was the single bloodiest day in American history over 4,000 people died and Antietam was a signature victory in the Civil War for the north for Abraham Lincoln and the forces of the United States and one thing that was really important about Antietam was that Lincoln had been waiting for a Union victory so that he could proclaim the Emancipation Proclamation which was intended to be a real morale blow to the south and also a signal to both enslaved people in the south northern Republicans who were strongly in favor of abolition the end of slavery and also the world's especially Europe that the Civil War had become a fight to end slavery not just a fight to keep the Union together and I mentioned in the last video that there were two reasons why Antietam was so important the first being that it led to the Emancipation Proclamation the second reason was slightly related to that the eyes of the world were really on the United States and on the Civil War at this time and many people in Europe were trying to decide whether they should intervene in the American Civil War now why would they do this well I think the most important reason that they would do this is because the south of the United States supplied 75% of the world's cotton at the beginning of the Civil War and so two major industrialized nations especially the United Kingdom cotton was the source of their prosperity they based their economy in part around textile mills this was what England was known for during the Civil War the North blockaded the South which meant that they use the ships of the Navy to prevent supplies from getting in or crops from getting out of the American South so if England can't get their cotton crops they might be in a whole lot of trouble when it comes to textile manufacturing and in fact the Confederacy was counting on having the support of Europe in their rebellion against the United States partly for this reason now there were other reasons why Europe might have intervened on behalf of the south one of these was that Europe was traditionally a highly clasped Society and they had a lot of sympathy for the way that the south did things with a wealthy planter class similar to the monarchy or the gentry in Europe which was in control of poorer White's and enslaved people of African descent another reason was that it was to the advantage of Europe not to have such a strong nation as the United States operating in the Americas remember that this is the era of imperialism the very beginning of imperialism as countries like the United Kingdom and France Germany and others in Europe begin to look for colonies abroad and the United States had in 1820 proclaimed the Monroe Doctrine which said Europe keep out of the Americas we consider this our area of the world so dividing what had been the United States into two smaller nations would probably have worked out in their favor so Europe had these social or cultural reasons to join with the south and also political or perhaps foreign policy reasons to join with the south now the salad was really counting on the intervention of a European nation they thought certainly the United Kingdom would intercede on their behalf and it looked especially early in the civil war like that might be the case but when it came down to it the United Kingdom did not intercede for the south and there were a few reasons why that happened one of those reasons was that the South had kind of oversold cotton to England in the years leading up to the Civil War so there was actually a considerable supply on hand which English merchants had built up before the Civil War kind of seeing this coming so the loss of new southern cotton really didn't turn out to be as big of a problem as many had imagined and related to that as the Civil War began to ramp up both Egypt and India which were also cotton producers began to increase their production understanding that there would be more of a demand coming from England that couldn't be supplied from the American South so it's interesting to note that it's partly in response to the American Civil War and the northern blockade of southern ships that Egypt in India become the world suppliers of cotton that they will be for the rest of the 19th century the other reason that England doesn't aid the South is more of a cultural reason which I think is very interesting which is that the novel Uncle Tom's Cabin which we'll talk about more in other videos was read really widely in England it was a very popular novel there the stage shows of Uncle Tom's Cabin were quite common and this novel which in the United States had helped to propel the Civil War by showing northerners how barbaric and institution slavery was also came over to England and because the Battle of Antietam allowed Lincoln to make the Emancipation Proclamation to the citizens of England this meant now that the North was an army of liberation that they had the choice of siding with either southern slaveholders who had been demonized in Uncle Tom's Cabin or with northerners who were fighting against those slaveholders so because of the Emancipation Proclamation and because of these other side issues about the supply of cotton Antietam really marks the moment when it becomes clear that there is not going to be any European help for the south and that's really important because think of the American movement for independence the reason that the United States won are at least one reason that the United States won was because of the intervention of France the South knew that they needed the help of Europe if they were going to succeed had England interceded it's highly likely that the South may have won the American Civil War and it would have been a separate nation after the Battle of Antietam and the Emancipation Proclamation it became clear that if the South was going to win its independence from the north it would be doing it on its own