Slavery cause of civil war essay


To What Extent Was Slavery the Cause of the American Civil War?

But when Northern abolitionists made a martyr of him, Southerners came to believe this was proof the North intended to wage a war of extermination against white Southerners. Exacerbating tensions, the old Whig political party was dying. Many of its followers joined with members of the American Party Know-Nothings and others who opposed slavery to form a new political entity in the s, the Republican Party.


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When the Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln won the presidential election, Southern fears that the Republicans would abolish slavery reached a new peak. Lincoln was an avowed opponent of the expansion of slavery but said he would not interfere with it where it existed. That was not enough to calm the fears of delegates to an secession convention in South Carolina.

South Carolina had threatened this before in the s during the presidency of Andrew Jackson , over a tariff that benefited Northern manufacturers but increased the cost of goods in the South. Jackson had vowed to send an army to force the state to stay in the Union, and Congress authorized him to raise such an army all Southern senators walked out in protest before the vote was taken , but a compromise prevented the confrontation from occurring.

Perhaps learning from that experience the danger of going it alone, in and early South Carolina sent emissaries to other slave holding states urging their legislatures to follow its lead, nullify their contract with the United States and form a new Southern Confederacy. Others voted down secession—temporarily.

On April 12, the Confederates opened fire with cannons. At p. War had begun. Lincoln called for volunteers to put down the Southern rebellion.

The Causes of the Civil War Essay

Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee, refusing to fight against other Southern states and feeling that Lincoln had exceeded his presidential authority, reversed themselves and voted in favor of session. The last one, Tennessee, did not depart until June 8, nearly a week after the first land battle had been fought at Philippi in Western Virginia. The western section of Virginia rejected the session vote and broke away, ultimately forming a new, Union-loyal state, West Virginia.

Other mountainous regions of the South, such as East Tennessee, also favored such a course but were too far from the support of Federal forces to attempt it.

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Irreconcilable Differences Simmering animosities between North and South signaled an American apocalypse. Any man who takes it upon himself to explain the causes of the Civil War deserves whatever grief comes his way, regardless of his good intentions. Yeats wrote his short poem immediately following the catastrophe of World War I, but his thesis of a great, cataclysmic event is universal and timeless. It is probably safe to say that the original impetus of the Civil War was set in motion when a Dutch trader offloaded a cargo of African slaves at Jamestown, Va.

Of course there were other things, too. For instance, by the eve of the Civil War the sectional argument had become so far advanced that a significant number of Southerners were convinced that Yankees, like Negroes, constituted an entirely different race of people from themselves. It is unclear who first put forth this curious interpretation of American history, but just as the great schism burst upon the scene it was subscribed to by no lesser Confederate luminaries than president Jefferson Davis himself and Admiral Raphael Semmes, of CSS Alabama fame, who asserted that the North was populated by descendants of the cold Puritan Roundheads of Oliver Cromwell—who had overthrown and executed the king of England in —while others of the class were forced to flee to Holland, where they also caused trouble, before finally settling at Plymouth Rock, Mass.

Was Slavery the Primary Cause of the Civil War?

How beliefs such as this came to pass in the years between and reveals the astonishing capacity of human nature to confound traditional a posteriori deduction in an effort to justify what had become by then largely unjustifiable. But there is blame enough for all to go around. From that first miserable boatload of Africans in Jamestown, slavery spread to all the settlements, and, after the Revolutionary War, was established by laws in the states. But by the turn of the 19th century, slavery was confined to the South, where the economy was almost exclusively agricultural.

For a time it appeared the practice was on its way to extinction. Then along came Eli Whitney with his cotton gin, suddenly making it feasible to grow short-staple cotton that was fit for the great textile mills of England and France. But beneath this great wealth and prosperity, America seethed.

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Whenever you have two people—or peoples—joined in politics but doing diametrically opposing things, it is almost inevitable that at some point tensions and jealousies will break out. In the industrial North, there was a low, festering resentment that eight of the first 11 U. For their part, the agrarian Southerners harbored lingering umbrage over the internal improvements policy propagated by the national government, which sought to expand and develop roads, harbors, canals, etc. These were the first pangs of sectional dissension.

Then there was the matter of the Tariff of Abominations, which became abominable for all concerned. This inflammatory piece of legislation, passed with the aid of Northern politicians, imposed a tax or duty on imported goods that caused practically everything purchased in the South to rise nearly half-again in price.

This was because the South had become used to shipping its cotton to England and France and in return receiving boatloads of inexpensive European goods, including clothing made from its own cotton. However, as years went by, the North, particularly New England, had developed cotton mills of its own—as well as leather and harness manufactories, iron and steel mills, arms and munitions factories, potteries, furniture makers, silversmiths and so forth.

And with the new tariff putting foreign goods out of financial reach, Southerners were forced to buy these products from the North at what they considered exorbitant costs. Smart money might have concluded it would be wise for the South to build its own cotton mills and its own manufactories, but its people were too attached to growing cotton. Later, South Carolina legislators acted on this assertion and defied the federal government to overrule them, lest the state secede.

This set off the Nullification Crisis, which held in theory or wishful thinking that a state could nullify or ignore any federal law it held was not in its best interests. The crisis was defused only when President Andrew Jackson sent warships into Charleston Harbor—but it also marked the first time a Southern state had threatened to secede from the Union. Though the tariff question remained an open sore from its inception in right up to the Civil War, many modern historians have dismissed the impact it had on the growing rift between the two sections of the country.

But any careful reading of newspapers, magazines or correspondence of the era indicates that here is where the feud began to fester into hatred. Some Southern historians in the past have argued this was the root cause of the Civil War. Not only did the tariff issue raise for the first time the frightening specter of Southern secession, but it also seemed to have marked a mazy kind of dividing line in which the South vaguely started thinking of itself as a separate entity—perhaps even a separate country.

All the resenting and seething naturally continued to spill over into politics.

The North, with immigrants pouring in, vastly outnumbered the South in population and thus controlled the House of Representatives. Moving away from economic differences and cotton as simplistic causes leads to a more accurate, and far more interesting, understanding of the causes of the Civil War.


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Census data from shows farms, manufacturing, and cities in the North and the South, as well as the location of slaves and cotton in southern states, all of which challenge the notion of a purely agricultural South and industrialized North. For years, textbook authors have contended that economic difference between North and South was the primary cause of the Civil War.

The northern economy relied on manufacturing and the agricultural southern economy depended on the production of cotton.

The desire of southerners for unpaid workers to pick the valuable cotton strengthened their need for slavery. The war led to more than six hundred thousand casualties. The traces for the civil war are mainly from the tension that formed early in the history of the United States. The vast size of the United States resulted in divergent lifestyles and cultures in the South and North which were dictated by climatic and geographic differences producing raw materials which led….

Sample Question: What is the cause and effect of the civil war? Civil war has a great, historic, progressive and revolutionary significance.

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To what extent was slavery the cause of the American Civil War?

Constitutionally, the war established the supremacy of the federal government over the states. Politically, the war established the foundation stage for America to become the most powerful country in the world. And Socially, the war gave the African American the….

What cause the civil war? In , the infant nation, the thirteen colonies, declare their independence from Great Britain by signing the declaration of independence. They based their declaration of independence on three major ideology, originally from Baron de Montesquieu and John Locke. Both philosophers argue that people had divinely granted natural rights, life, including liberty, and property. Can a new nation, mostly composed of commoners understand the true meaning of natural rights…. Causes of the Civil War - Slavery From to America was in a state of civil war, with eleven southern states attempting to succeed and become their own nations.

This war was caused by a variety of issues, slavery foremost amongst them.

Was the Civil War About Slavery?

The industrial revolt in the North, throughout the first few years of the 19th century, resulted into Machine age economy that depend on wage manual worker, not slaves. At the same time,…. Not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest.

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