preview

Analyzing the Causes behind the American Civil War

Good Essays
Since the end of the end of the American Civil War in 1865, more than a century later many historians are still debating what the precise cause of the war was. Depending on who you discuss the heated issue with everyone can come to a different conclusion. However, there are three main/general cases that most people can agree played a role in this bloody war between a nation’s people, which include slavery, pre-battles(including Bleeding Kansas and John Brown’s raid), and the election of President Lincoln.
For one, a common assumption to explain the cause of the American Civil War was that the North no longer wanted to tolerate slavery in the United States. Therefore, most people can agree that slavery was the central key issue in which the other causes stemmed from. The key issue concerning slavery was whether or not it should exist at all or if it was in fact necessary for the nation to succeed. Many Southerners relied on slaves for their agricultural labor, including the “South’s cotton boom which rested on the backs of slaves, who grew 75 percent of the crop on plantations, toiling in gangs in broad fields under the direct supervision of whites” (American Promise, 2009). On the opposite side, Northerners had no need for slaves because their economy was mostly based on manufacturing and exporting. Since American’s founding the issue of slavery surfaced many times, resulting in compromises attempting to please both sides. The North believed that slavery was morally corrupt, while those in the South believed that it essential for their livelihood. This dispute was fueled with the nation’s thirst for expansion of new territory as well. As new territory was conquered the question arose whether the new state would be a slave state ...

... middle of paper ...

...and final major issue that resulted in the Civil War being fought was the election of Republican President Lincoln in 1860, which added to the fiery debate and led ultimately to secession among the states. Abraham Lincoln believed and made known that he thought that “slavery was an evil… that [every man] had the right to freedom and fruits of their labor” (PowerPoint). Many Southerners (included the Whig party) feared that President Lincoln if elected would outlaw slavery all together. Because of this dispute, Southern states (including South Carolina) began the process of secession wanting to make a political statement. This statement, however, brought about a war in which the Northern and Western states and territories fought to preserve the Union, and the South fought to establish Southern independence as a new confederation of states under its own constitution.
Get Access