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Political and Economic Aspects of Slavery Lead to the Civil War

People often misunderstand the factors that led to one of the bloodiest wars in history, the Civil War. While many believe the question of the morality of slavery is what drove the South to secede, leading to the Civil War, that was not the main element. While main issue that led to the war was slavery, freedom and morality were not the center of this. It was a variety of political and economic aspects of slavery were what initiated the Civil War. Anti-Slavery writers such as Seward and Helper urged the country to abandon the extension of slavery in order to protect the union and the economy. Others believe that the abolitionist movement was what instigated the Civil War. While it did have a role in this, the morality of slavery was not the driving force behind the dissonance between the North and South. Both sides were not mainly concerned with the moral injustice of slavery, but instead of the depth of their own pockets and their sum of power. The Civil War was prompted by differing interpretations by the North and South of economic and political issues, such as free labor ideology and the spread of slavery, as seen through the analysis of documents dating prior to the beginning of the war.

The abolitionist movements predating the Civil War did not have an effect on the instigation of the war because the tensions the movement created were not about morality at all. Some Southerners were angered enough by Northern abolitionists who wrote about the need for immediate abolition of slavery to make it a felony in the South, but even these frictions were not about morality (American Peoples, 28). Instead they were caused by the fact that the South did not want the slaves to know of the movement in the North as to insure there would ...

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... did he feel the need to completely abolish slavery in the South. Lincoln’s main priorities were to preserve the Union, and reserve the republic. Slavery, in some ways, was a nonissue to Lincoln unless the republic was threatened. Lincoln was dead set opposed to secession, which greatly worried the South. The South realized that if Lincoln won the election, they would lose power. Due to this worry of losing their “way of life” due to Lincoln’s victory in the election, the South decided to secede from the Union, which eventually lead to the Civil War.

There was a complex set of factors that led up to the Civil War, the abolitionist movement was one of these, but was definitely not of most importance. Slavery was the main focus of this war, but the center was not the freedom of slavery. Many Americans had little interest in slavery, but cared about their way of life.

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