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The Civil War, Part I: Crash Course US History #20

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In which John Green ACTUALLY teaches about the Civil War. In part one of our two part look at the US Civil War, John looks into the causes of the war, and the motivations of the individuals who went to war. The overarching causes and the individual motivations were not always the same, you see. John also looks into why the North won, and whether that outcome was inevitable. The North's industrial and population advantages are examined, as are the problems of the Confederacy, including its need to build a nation at the same time it was fighting a war. As usual, John doesn't get much into the actual battle by battle breakdown. He does talk a little about the overarching strategy that won the war, and Grant's plan to just overwhelm the South with numbers. Grant took a lot of losses in the latter days of the war, but in the end, it did lead to the surrender of the South. If you want to learn more about the Civil War, we recommend these books: Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson The Civil War by Shelby Foote Hey teachers and students - Check out CommonLit's free collection of reading passages and curriculum resources to learn more about the events of this episode. There were many causes of the American Civil War and events that led to disunion: https://www.commonlit.org/texts/causes-of-the-american-civil-war Once the war started, its outcome was determined by the different abilities and resources of the divided North and South: https://www.commonlit.org/texts/a-nation-divided-north-vs-south follow us! @thecrashcourse @realjohngreen @raoulmeyer @crashcoursestan @saysdanica @br8ybrunch Support CrashCourse on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/crashcourse
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Text Comments (5418)
Chris Johnson (3 days ago)
6:30 I had thought this only occurred after it became obvious to Lee that he couldn't take Washington by force, especially after losing Gettysburg.
Nehimiah Teshome (3 days ago)
Why do we have to learn in school when Abraham Lincoln didn't
memshin3 (5 days ago)
so greatfull thank you very much
Tom Patterson (5 days ago)
it was actually about seccesion, and regionalism, the cause was slavery, but slavery is too big to be a single cause. The real question is through what ways did slavery cause the civil war.
Dasha Fagan (5 days ago)
Why r u teaching me more history than my history teacher?? 😂
Jackson Gore (5 days ago)
I have a question about the antebellum era Who were the two women that were exiles from South Carolina ?
Mythical2004 (7 days ago)
The only reason Lee joined the south was because his family lived there
Babe Ruth (7 days ago)
It was a combination of all things you mentioned plus others not just slavery. I wish ihad an hour to explain but i dont.
S (7 days ago)
"OH!! HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES?!?!?" -John Green, 2013
Thomas Oduro (7 days ago)
Of course, he also said: "If I could preserve this Union without freeing the slaves, I would."
Agrim Gupta (5 days ago)
Copy pasta
Moose the Legend (10 days ago)
red six (10 days ago)
WTF is going on at 9:20 (photograph)??
Udbhav Bodapati (11 days ago)
Peter Parker from Spiderman Homecoming at 9:00
Wyatt Berry (11 days ago)
SkyTheCreator STC (12 days ago)
"Honeybun, how do I look in the face" is probably the greatest string of words I've heard in a long time.
OrganlessJohn216 (12 days ago)
1:45 4:26 5:10 5:10 7:30 9:30 10:45
Izuku Midoriya (12 days ago)
Anyone else see the 🌵 at 2:20
Michaela J (12 days ago)
My textbook says 750,000.
TheCommon Man (13 days ago)
Ahhh, the liberal in its natural habitat.
Hannah (13 days ago)
let us die to make men free...... but only barely
Adam Hale (14 days ago)
at 1:54 you missed west Virginia
Send Help (14 days ago)
This is going to be a heck of a comment section
Flinko Planki (14 days ago)
Dont get me wrong I love this but when you said the American revoloution the vietnam war world war 1 and world war 2 were less deadly than the civil war and that got me confused and If I didn't know 70-85 million people died in world war 2 I wouldn't have noticed that you meant Americans so I think you should've been clearer
Swagga Wagga (14 days ago)
Did anyone else see the cactor on 2:20????
robert (15 days ago)
in which John Green calls himself a sniveling little ghoul
Stitchpuppy01 (16 days ago)
lol wtf Cloud Strife
Misty Lopez (16 days ago)
How Does The Civil War Have To Be The Cause Of USA?
Paul Lewis (16 days ago)
If your going to perpetuate a lie like the war was fought over slavery. Please explain how and why Ulysses still had slaves post war and even during his presidency.
Brad Watson (17 days ago)
The Civil War wasn't all about slavery. In 1861, Southern plantation owners owed a billion dollar$ to New York City banks and the cotton market in NYC took 40% of their profits. Like with their ancestors in the Revolutionary War who owed million$ to London banks and avoided paying, in 1861, Southern plantation owners saw the Civil War as a way to avoid paying their debts.
Bad Beard Bill (9 days ago)
Of course the war was related to rich people's financial woes.
Sir Memesly (18 days ago)
There is a county named after Lincoln In Mississippi
Jenna (19 days ago)
Lincoln personally hated slavery, but his main focus was preserving the union, therefore he put that first
Danial Qarooni (20 days ago)
This improved my report in school from DISAPPOINTMENT to BRILLIANT
Ben Chernjavsky (21 days ago)
You know this video is completely untrue when he says that the civil war wasnt about slavery...
Reid Pruitt (22 days ago)
Technically Andrew Jackson caused the civil war by removing the Indians and leading to more land for slaves
Sen Daltokki (23 days ago)
also, Cactuar 2:20 wasn't the only Final Fantasy reference, in 2:53, one comment had Cloud Strife as their profile pic
Sen Daltokki (23 days ago)
i have watched a couple of crashcourse videos but it wasn't until just now that i realized John Green is that John Green who wrote The fault in our stars bruh
Debby Herring (23 days ago)
Crash Course - I really enjoy your videos. I just wish you didn't find the need to put pictures of topless or partially topless women in them. Totally unnecessary!!!
Thevin Silva (24 days ago)
Is it just me or is that pentagram at 4:28
Atif Suleman (24 days ago)
I’m watching this from the UK and I never studied history once I reached 14 at school. I also never studied the US Civil War until now. Great video I learnt a lot.
Calvin Bryant (26 days ago)
The civil war came about because, Lincoln was a bully. The South was economically strong and Lincoln wanted what they had. A bill to end slavery wasn't even thought about at the beginning of the war.
Newman64 (27 days ago)
You dont think it was about a fed bank?
Nebojša G. (27 days ago)
Lincoln was a very weasely bastard. What he said about the slaves was the quintessence of "technically correct" But this "peculiar interest" most definitely WASN'T about freeing them or keeping them in bondage, it was about who was going to make more money from their enslavement, which was determined by tariff policy. High tariffs=Protected market for domestic textile producers and southern planters have to sell to Northern Industry. Tariff revenues get spent on infrastructure in the North. Both things give jobs to Northern workers and profits to northern capitalists. Low tariffs= cheap foreign imported goods instead of expensive Northern products. Access to lucrative foreign markets for southern planters.
Rachel Redding (1 month ago)
Anyone else pick up on the significance of John Green discussing last words here?
Allie Cabral Zayas (1 month ago)
there are a lot of controversial statements in these videos. Is the content in this series, safe to rely for the CSET?
Richard Kranium (1 month ago)
I will have awesome last words. “Who will the world revolve around when I’m gone”
Solara Fae (1 month ago)
Though the south went to war more than just for slavery.
YouMockMe (1 month ago)
LOL.....civil war was only about slavery? Then the scramble for Africa initiated by the French was a good thing???
Aldo Del Angel (1 month ago)
Mexico should have taken advantage while it was that war to recover their stolen territory from Texas to the northem of California
Fast Turtles (1 month ago)
Soo, Grant basically just threw bodies at the Confederates until he eventually won... No wonder people like Trump idolize him...he was a bit of an idiot.
Mikayla Stewart (1 month ago)
Thank you for saying the secretly not about slavery thing because so many Confederates are brainwashed
Shania Logan (1 month ago)
I’m so thrilled to see that we (African Americans) had someone fighting in our corner to Equal Rights.
RawR Mango (1 month ago)
So people think the civil was caused by different things. What started the civil war?
Mikayla Stewart (23 days ago)
Slavery, did you watch the video?
Nivvi Rao (1 month ago)
3/5 were slaves, not 3.5- read the 3/5 compromise.
Dan (1 month ago)
9:19 The hell?
abdulla hussien (1 month ago)
People from Delaware were wimps!!
Summer Fortuno (1 month ago)
Is anybody going to point out that the soldier at 9:01 Looks like peter Parker
hodan (1 month ago)
oh my god you are right
Vegas Sims (1 month ago)
I think the civil war also, but not really the focus as much at that time, showed that these United States would never, ever allow any state OR group of states to secede for any reason. Ensuring that the United States would stay preserved as ONE nation and not many.
Layne Hollis (1 month ago)
The war wasn’t about slavery. It was about States rights and tyranny of the federal government.
TheRollslapper (18 days ago)
A state's right to what, exactly?
The Elders (1 month ago)
The president of the confederacy stated slavery was the cause in his address.
Grey 0415 (1 month ago)
This is so weird I am reading the fault in are stars right now and my social studies teacher plays your videos all the time and I always thought you looked like John Green but I just realized that you are actually are John Green. That is so cool
It yo boy 1246 (1 month ago)
It’s me isaiah
It yo boy 1246 (1 month ago)
Hi mr Ferrell
Distorres (1 month ago)
Listen buddy. You’re correct the war happened due to slavery. BUT - so many many people think it was due to the moral side: is slavery good or bad? People having a picture still EXISTING today, that the northerners are some kind og glorius heroic people who will risk their lives for the then current living slaves, and that the southernes were the root to all evil of mankind. NO! The war has always been about whether slavery should be allowed in newly occupied lands to the west. If it wasnt to be allowed it would make huge impact om the southern agriculture. And for all those who think that Abraham Lincoln would risk his and his fellows life to stop slavery, like he was some kind of saint you are all wrong! “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” Inaugural Address, March 04, 1861
The Elders (1 month ago)
The southern economy was based on suffering. They derserved it broken. Also, lincoln had that intention, but it would chaos if he claimed it right off the bat.
Ant m (1 month ago)
I understand the Lee was on his way to Hanover for badly needed shoes when he allowed himself to get sidetracked at Gettysburg. Had he stuck to his original plan who knows what might have happened. Many think the loss of Stonewall Jackson doomed the Confederate outcome. God bless the South who sufferec from the day of secession.
ItsyoboyPrince Playz (1 month ago)
I love crash course dude keep up the good work
1rons1de (1 month ago)
The South’s Gonna Rise Again
The Elders (1 month ago)
Not really.
Mario Capistran (1 month ago)
Thirdly - A war of attrition works better against an overseas enemy than an enemy right next door.
Cosette Haynes (1 month ago)
this was pretty helpful. john green is the best, thanks!
Lazertag Lovah (1 month ago)
This is from 2013 wow
PolarBear1H (1 month ago)
I’m i the only one who saw cloud from final fantasy as a reference
JazzlynnTheFNaFfan (1 month ago)
When this is a class assignment to watch his videos but you have a worksheet that goes along with it Me:........ I just want to watch the video
Rachel Zollinger (1 month ago)
Abraham Lincoln? More like “Babe”raham Lincoln. Amaright?
LordOfTrash (1 month ago)
Love the Final Fantasy cactus you snuck in there.
NutellaFrenchToast (1 month ago)
2:20 2:54 glad you guys have ff7 fans on the staff lmao
reptile (1 month ago)
Y'all fought for me THANK YOU
Mott Dude (1 month ago)
I’m disappointed. Your research is shoddy in that the comments the South had superior generals and that the South couldn’t win because of the North’s superior advantages in men and materials. Those are fallacies called by professional historians “The Lost Cause Mythologies”. The facts are that the Union came closer than many care to believe to losing the war. Had Atlanta not fallen when it did Lincoln very likely would have lost re-election and President elect McClellan would have to negotiate a political peace that would have required recognition of the Confederacy. Second, by the end of the war the Union Army, who had the far harder job of actually having to conquer the Confederacy (the Confederacy only needed a Stalemate to win), produced far Superior Commanders Who not only won the war but whom history considers the first modern Industrial Age Generals in Grant, Sherman and Sheridan. General Lee, on the other hand is considered by most military historians as one of history’s most over rated General. Although brilliant tactically Lee was a terrible Strategist and his lack of a clear grand strategy played a major role in the Confederacies defeat. So it’s rather disappointing that you would propagate these Lost Cause Mythologies that have been thoroughly refuted by historians.
blackpanther (1 month ago)
If the war was really about slavery then why did Lincoln only free the slaves in 1863 after gettysburg?
blackpanther (1 month ago)
Sir I assure you I have thoroughly studied this subject, more than others in fact. I study Modern History, US History, and Colonial History. Once more I must say that I DO NOT support the institution of slavery and the obvious fact that you do not understand that stands out immensely to me. Considering, of course, that you continue to cite "my beloved slavery" as if I were some sort of a racist slave-holding figure. Because of this, I feel I do not understand why you continue to bring up evidence as to why the Civil War was fought only over slavery even though there are more pieces of evidence of other reasons, and that for citing those reasons and simply stating that the main cause of this war was not what most people believe it to be, makes me some kind of racist. I am simply stating, if I may reiterate, that the sole cause of the Civil war was not to free the slaves in the south, it was merely a bi-product of the Civil War. As Lincoln said - and I'm paraphrasing- "If I could save the Union by freeing all slaves I would do it, and I could save the Union by freeing no slaves I would do it..."
blackpanther (1 month ago)
This is diving further into slavery this and slavery that. My point is that the Civil war was not fought solely over slavery, many people would not have fought the Civil War if it was for slavery (including yankees). Another thing is that you continually say "your beloved slavery" as though I support the institution of slavery, in which case you would be found incorrect on that. Again, the Civil War was not just over slavery, it never was, never has been, and never will be. Lincoln only freed the slaves to gain a moral advantage over the south, and to point the finger at the Confederates as the cause of the war, using slavery as a basis of reason.
TechRok (2 months ago)
Mustafa Ali (2 months ago)
I miss john green in recent videos
Boston Downs (2 months ago)
Thank u u just saved my test tomorrow Eeeeee I got a 98
Sabeeha Mian (2 months ago)
can someone find a transcription of the video?
Daniel Gonzalez (2 months ago)
Are you part of VFD I mean you read a lot
Jacob Webb (2 months ago)
Umm spoilers! Coulda warned me bro
Karen Young (2 months ago)
TO; RonPaulHatesBlacks.. This is Rev. Jeffrey Young. The cursing that you sent to my wife showes how immature you are. Me and my wife were born in the late 40's. My Father was born in 1908. We have always been in Texas. You should Apologizes to her for your lude language. We will be praying for you. My great Grand Father had a large cotton plantation and took very good care of his slaves. He built a School for them and never let them work on Sundays. After the war they stayed with him.
weeyummy bmp (2 months ago)
i disagree with the idea of slavery since the UNION had slave owners - of which even the founding fathers (or at least some of them) had slaves.
Lively Autistic Man (2 months ago)
Who else is studying for their final or AP exam
Mr. Star (2 months ago)
The reason for the war is something no one will agree on but one side is wrong all Im saying
TheWaldojr (2 months ago)
"You sniveling little ghoul" *R o a s t e d*
Clay Marmon (2 months ago)
Anyone watching these vids in 2019?
Ci Jenkid (2 months ago)
Yo on the Lincoln behind him are his eyes closed or does he just not have pupils? Cuz if so dats kinda weird
John Brown (2 months ago)
...so we're counting Confederate troops as Americans then? And everyone's okay with that?
John Brown (2 months ago)
+Darrian Weathington because none of those people have drafted articles of secession saying they are no longer part of this country, for starters.
Darrian Weathington (2 months ago)
John Brown well, when you see the news about a hate crime, someone dropping the N word, or some political official who wants to kick the Mexicans out of their own country, and they call those people "Americans" much less "Human beings" why would the Confederates be called anything else?
Christian Burrell (2 months ago)
The South basically stood no chance. The North was winning big time since Shiloh. The newspapers kept getting distracted by Richmond. Even Lee had almost no decisive victories, yet he is universally praised. Yet, when did he win that the North had to seriously retreat and change their approach? They just kept coming back. In the West, the South has almost no victories. How do people think this was a close fight?
Karen Young (2 months ago)
The war was fought over TAXES. The south had cotton, the north wanted it. Lincoln did not want to give up his slaves. The south had slaves fighting with them in battle.
Reggie's Homework (2 months ago)
Im only here for History Meme Ideas
Anakin Moonwalker (2 months ago)
What are the two women representing in 5:43 ? The North and the South?
Tobias Konowitz (2 months ago)
but it was about state's rights...
Master Reliever (2 months ago)
Lol when I’m in 10th grade, I won’t have to watch Crash Course cause it’s my goal to know everything.
jeff c (2 months ago)
just another millenial trying to change the history of our country. Please go back to school and learn all the reasons for the Civil War!
Bart Tare (2 months ago)
Ah, yes, women "shaming" men into fighting wars. How many wars, actually, are due to this never-ending pattern?
Mikayla Stewart (23 days ago)
Darrian Weathington (2 months ago)
Bart Tare how many are almost all of them?
The Flash (2 months ago)
Bart Tare (2 months ago)
The only inevitable outcome(s) of any war is/are that: 1) many people's lives will be irreparably changed, most often for the worse 2) because the stakes are so high (life or death, "morally right" ideology vs. "morally wrong" ideology), most people will find a way to believe some higher power is on "their side." What is most disconcerting is that this repeated pattern appears to be part of the inevitable human condition, with little hope of changing it. Frustratingly, there is a competing counter myth in the West of "moral progress," (ironically, a form of secularized Apocalyptic Christianity) which has blinded some people to the reality of the more likely pattern.

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