What Role Has Played During The Civil War?

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The peculiar institution, Slavery, is always a highly debated topic as to what role it played during the civil war. Questions about why the Civil War occurred leads to many narrower questions all with different answers. However the sole reason for the war wasn’t slavery but the questions it brought about such as states rights, economics and political control of slavery, territorial expansionism, and the election of Lincoln. I agree with Howard Zinn that “the clash was over slavery as a moral institution, rather the war was brought on by northern and southern elites who recognize the incompatibility of two distinct economic systems.” The Union and Confederacy had an economic system and ideals too different that it was impossible to avoid a war. The Civil war between the Union and Confederacy ended slavery in the United States however slavery was not the sole purpose of the war. Many events led to the outbreak of war between the Union and southern states. Such events included the Wilmot Proviso Debate, Admission of California, Compromise of 1850, Fugitive Slave Law, Kansas Nebraska Act, Birth of Republican Party, Harper’s Ferry, Election of 1860, and the firing at Fort Sumter. All these events tie together in the end as they led to the Civil War. After ‘victory over Mexico added more than 1 million square miles to the United States...the acquisition of this vast territory raised the fatal issue that would disrupt the political system and plunge the nation into civil war-whether slavery should be allowed to expand into the West.” (Foner 475) The acquisition of new land reopened the question of slavery’s expansion and “party lines crumbled as every northerner..supported what came to be known as the Wilmot Proviso, while nearly all so... ... middle of paper ... ...asingly, the northerners became more polarized against slavery. Sympathies began to grow for abolitionists and against slavery and slaveholders. This occurred especially after some major events including: the publishing of Harriet Beecher Stowe 's Uncle Tom 's Cabin, the Dred Scott Case, John Brown 's Raid, and the passage of the fugitive slave act that held individuals responsible for harboring fugitive slaves even if they were located in non-slave states. The election of Abraham Lincoln. Even though things were already coming to a head, when Lincoln was elected in 1860, South Carolina issued its "Declaration of the Causes of Secession." They believed that Lincoln was anti-slavery and in favor of Northern interests. Before Lincoln was even president, seven states had seceded from the Union: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.

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