2016 Essay Contest Third Place, Senior Division

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Callie Aulik, 11th Grade

Post-1865: Effects of the War

The Civil War was one of the bloodiest and most destructive wars in U.S. history. Thousands of men were killed and thousands of families were torn apart due to the gruesome event. Even today, not everything is completely back to the way it was before the war.

After the war, there was a lot of reconciling to be done to reunite the separated states. This process in some ways was even more difficult than the war itself, just because there will most likely be unresolved tension between some northerners and southerners for a long time. Hundreds of years after the war ended, many cities where important events of the war occurred are still taking measures to preserve these areas for future generations. I believe that this is a very important process because it will help students learn about our country’s history.

Many battle fields have been restored so that people can tour them and learn about what happened there. Also, a lot of history museums have been built in honor of the civil war. These museums are very informative and are very important in preserving the civil war history. Another thing that museums can help with is teaching us about why there is still tension between the blacks and whites that continues to separate the states after the civil war. Both sides blamed each other for the war and its outcome. The civil war didn’t fully solve the problems that it set out to, and this is why it made the reunion of some states and people so difficult.

In order for us to fully understand the civil war and its after effects, and also the struggles that were faced by people throughout that time period, we need to maintain these preservation sites. This will allow future generations to learn and appreciate history and the struggles that our ancestors fought to overcome.