After China and India, the United States of America is the most populated country in the world. The world's census states that its population is over 319.000.000 people, 31% of which are "non-white people"; their president itself is black. In 1860 its population ranged around 31.500.000 people, 12.1% of which were represented by slaves. Why is it important to make a comparison between nowadays United States' population and 1860's ones? In fact, in April, 1861 started the American Civil War, which ended with more than 500.000 dead men. Due to the American Civil War, the whole world perceived the American investment in arms industry and the Industrial Revolution's advances. The war also meant the end of slavery in the United States of America. Although several authors, such as James McPherson, support that "the true issue was the morality and future of slavery" (187), the real reasons were due to economic motives. Other authors defend that "So far, slavery itself was definitely not an issue" (Catton 34). The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that, unwittingly, the American Civil War was the definite step for slaves to reach their freedom. In order to do this, I shall try to give an explanation of the Civil war's causes, the slaves' progress during war and their situation in the era of Reconstruction.
After the Mexican-American War, in 1848, Texas (a slave state) demanded for territories and the government refused to deliver them. Northern states had an economy system based on capitalist industry, while southern states maintained the slavery. Initially, southern countries accepted the conditions, and several politicians had opted for maintaining the Union united, as shows Connor and Faulk, Clay called for compromise in a speech on January 29, 1850. California would enter as a free state; New Mexico would be given separate territorial status; Texas would be paid $10.