2015 Essay Contest Honorable Mention, Junior Division

Hayden, 5th grade

School: Washburn Elementary School | Auburn, ME

1864-65: Bringing the War to a Close

The Civil War was one of the most important, and largest wars in which our country fought.  Without the Civil War, our country would still be divided into the North (Union), and the South (Confederate).  Before the Civil War, slavery existed in the United States. Slavery was a terrible thing where people were forced to work for countless hours every day for no payment. If they refused to work (no matter the conditions), their owner would whip them. If they tried to run away, they could even be killed.

Abraham Lincoln’s quote means that the beliefs of the past, are not working in the present situation. Dogma is a set of beliefs usually based on religious values. The “New Case” is the new set of principles based on treating all people equal. The new nation is a nation where all people are treated equally. The times have changed, and so must our thinking. We must think in the present, and not in the past.  If it weren’t for the Civil War, some people would still not be treated as human beings, and would also not be free. If we never settled it in the Civil War, other countries might try to fight with or against slavery. This could easily have started a World War with twice or three times as many deaths, which luckily, was prevented.

As a result of the Civil War our thinking should change to become more fair to all people regardless of their race. If people work, they need to make a fair amount of money per hour. For example, a person needs to be paid minimum wage for their work. Because of the Civil War, all states have to pay their workers a minimum wage for each hour they work. Slavery is never OK!!

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