Social and Political Causes of the Civil War

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The Civil War was, by far, one of the bloodiest events in American history. Such an event devastated the nation, yet it did not happen on its own accord. A country divided politically, socially, economically, and geographically, each unfolding event drove America toward the brink of the Civil War. Prior to the war – the 1800s – many issues over politics, status of slaves, and the economy plagued the country. The North and South were divided upon these issues and continued to drift further apart with every compromise, movement, and legal decision, increasing violence and hostility on both sides. Although there existed many causes of the Civil War, in the end, the two most important causes of the Civil War were political and social. Political events including the Dred Scott Decision and the States’ Rights Doctrine before the Civil War increased tensions between the North and South. These conflicts resulted from contrasting ideas about slavery, states’ rights, and political parties: the North was mostly Republican, opposed slavery, and preferred a unified nation under the federal law, while the South was mostly Democratic, proslavery, and supported greater rights and power for states. According to Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, the Supreme Justice during this time, “the Act of Congress which prohibited a citizen from holding and owning property of this kind [slaves] in the territory of the United States north of the line therein mentioned is not warranted by the Constitution, and is therefore void” (Dred Scott v. Sandford). Since the ban of slavery in the northern part of the western territory was deemed unconstitutional and lifted by the Dred Scott Decision, an attempt to settle the issue of slavery, the North f... ... middle of paper ... ...nists and southerners alike, disliked this document – the prior felt it was unfair to the slaves and the civilians while the latter felt the act was not enough to protect slavery. The issue of slavery was still far from resolved, growing worse in intensity and existing in all social classes, even when the Fugitive Slave Act was repealed and a new compromise was made. By the time of the Civil War, a person’s position on slavery mostly determined which part of society he belonged to – the North or the South. Political and social causes launched the Civil War as the most significant causes of the war. Representing the conflicting opinions of the people, government decisions and social movements/ideas clashed. Problem after problem accumulated until violence ruptured. With no other option to resolve the conflicts, for America, the Civil War was inescapable.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the civil war was one of the bloodiest events in american history, but it did not happen on its own accord.
  • Analyzes how the dred scott decision and the states’ rights doctrine before the civil war increased tensions between the north and south.
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