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Factors Contributing to the Start of the Civil War

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On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter, starting the American Civil War. The Civil War would last for four years and result in massive American casualties. It would eventually end with slavery abolished and the South under the military occupation of the North. The conflict between the Southern and Northern states did not start suddenly, and did not only appear in the 1860s. Slavery was prevalent in the South and eventually made illegal in the North, which caused Northerners to oppose slavery and Southerners to support it. As a result, there were conflicts over the spread of slavery across the nation. They were first manifested in the Missouri Compromise, in 1820. Conflict over the spread of slavery re-appeared with the Mexican-American war and the question of whether slavery would be allowed in the territory gained from it, and turned violent after the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the settling of Kansas. Tensions between the two national sections also rose with the beating of Senator Sumner, the Dred Scott Decision, and John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry. Although many people think of the Civil War as starting merely over the election of Abraham Lincoln to the White House, there were actually quite a few slavery-related conflicts that increased tensions between the North and the South and eventually led to war between the states.

Slavery and the Abolition Movement

Slavery existed as a legal institution in America more than a hundred years before the Revolutionary War, and was spread across all of the original Thirteen Colonies. Slavery was legalized by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1641, and by Virginia in 1660 ("Events Leading to the Civil War"). Because the economy of t...

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MAS Ultra School Edition. EBSCOhost. MFL MarMac High School. 1 May 2003.

<http://www.esbsohost.com/>.’

McGill, Sarah Ann. "Missouri Compromise" American History & Politics, 1607-1849 2002 p 34

MAS Ultra School Edition. EBSCOhost. MFL MarMac High School. 1 May 2003.

<http://www.ebscohost.com/>
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