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Differences Between the North and South that Led to the Civil War

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The Southern and Northern states varied on many issues, which eventually led them to the Civil War. There were deep economic, social, and political differences between the North and the South. These differences stemmed from the interpretation of the United States Constitution on both sides. In the end, all of these disagreements about the rights of states led to the Civil War. There were reasons other than slavery for the South?s secession. The manifestations of division in America were many: utopian communities, conflicts over public space, backlash against immigrants, urban riots, black protest, and Indian resistance (Norton 234). America was a divided land in need reform with the South in the most need. The South relied heavily on agriculture, as opposed to the North, which was highly populated and an industrialized society. The South grew cotton, which was its main cash crop and many Southerners knew that heavy reliance on slave labor would hurt the South eventually, but their warnings were not heeded. The South was based on a totalitarian system.

Constitutionally the North favored a loose interpretation of the United States Constitution, and they wanted to grant the federal government increased powers. The South wanted to reserve all undefined powers to the individual states themselves. The South relied upon slave labor for their economic well being, and the economy of the North was not reliant on such labor or in need of this type of service. This main issue overshadowed all others. Southerners compared slavery to the wage-slave system of the North, and believed their slaves received better care than the northern factory workers received from their employers. Many Southern preachers proclaimed that slavery was sanctioned in the Bible. Southern leaders had constantly tried to seek new areas into which slavery might be extended (Oates 349).

After the American Revolution, slavery began to decrease in the North, just as it was becoming more popular in the South. By the turn of the century, seven of the most Northern states had abolished slavery. During this time, a surge of democratic reform swept the North to the West, and there were demands for political equality, economic and social advances for all Americans. Northerners said that slavery revoked the human right of being a free person and when new territories became available i...

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...in opinion. We should remember the great sacrifices our fellow citizens made during this time and appreciate their actions or endeavors. Especially that of Abraham Lincoln. The best way to assess the value of Lincoln is to think what the condition of American would be in today if he had never lived or never been President (Whitman 262).

Yes, slavery was the cause of the Civil War, half of the country thought it was wrong, and the other half just could not let it go or continue. The war was fought overall in different places, and the monetary and property loss cannot be calculated. Arguments about the causes and consequences of the Civil War, as well as the reasons for Northern victory, will continue as long as there are historians to wield the pen ? which is, perhaps even for this bloody conflict, mightier than the sword (Oates 388). The Civil War was a great waste in terms of human life and possible accomplishment and should be considered shameful. Before its first centennial, tragedy struck a new country and altered it for an eternity. It will never be forgotten, but adversity builds strength and the United States of America is now a much stronger nation (Oates 388).