The Causes Of The Civil War Essay

The Causes Of The Civil War Essay

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"The tragic ‘fireball

in the night’ imagined by Jefferson had finally rung. The

Missouri Compromise had failed. Proslavery and

antislavery civilians clashed in the streets and took up arms.

Thousands of Northerners were willing to die for their

beliefs. The Civil War had begun. The states were at war

with each other." This dividing battle between the North

and the South was unavoidable. The Civil War was caused

by economic, political and moral problems. It all started by

an alarming increase in a need for cotton, which triggered

the building of a barrier between two territories in a

growing nation. New Machinery was changing the textile

industry in New England and Britain. These mills needed

more and more cotton, creating a new demand in the south.

For this trade with Europe, after 1812, raw cotton

accounted for one-third all cotton exports of the United

States. By 1830, it increased to half. Cotton quickly

became a big money-making cash crop for the South and

North economy alike. But the demand also revived the

need for slaves. The plantations had to be worked, and

blacks were a cheap, efficient way to get the cotton

picked. To make their jobs easier, Eli Whitney took

advantage of the new idea, and invented the cotton

gin(short for engine). It rapidly cleaned the seeds from the

short, sticky fibers of upland cotton, the variety that grew

all over the South. The process was simple: a roller carried

raw cotton along wooden slats. Sharp metal teeth thrust

through the slats and quickly pulled the fibers from the

seeds. In 1794, he obtained a patent. Whitney still earned

little because it was simple enough for manufacturers to

copy. Even though the machine made attaining cotton

faster, slaves were still pushed to work harder and produce

more. Blacks under captivity certainly led a harsh, unfair

life. But that is where the white southerners believed blacks

belonged. Northerners knew better. Harriet

Beecher-Stowe, a female, black abolitionist was aware of

these conditions. She wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which

was published in 1852, and described the incredible cruelty

and horrors of slavery. Stowe wanted to "write something

that would make the whole nation feel what an accursed

thing slavery is." Her novel became widely popular, and

within a year, readers had bought 300,000 copies.

Wherever it went, it ...

... middle of paper ...

...opular sovereignty was also put into effect.

This act gave the voters, in each territory, the right to

decide whether to become a free state or a slave state.

Together, they rendered the Missouri Compromise

meaningless. As the South’s dependence on slavery

increased between 1790 and 1860, the gap between the

Southern cotton economy and industrial economy of the

North widened. The opposing goals and needs of the

North and South created a deeper conflict- a conflict that

eventually lead to war. Basically, the North fought to keep

the union together, and give black slaves freedom, while the

South fought for their lifestyle, homes, and to keep things

together economically. The northerners had high moral

issues while the Southerners wanted to keep their

plantations and cotton production. They weren’t willing to

give up there slaves. There were too many conflicts

between the two territories, so they fought to resolve them.

John Brown, a vengeful abolitionist put it best, "the crimes

of this guilty land will never be purged away, but with

blood". The north won the war, and ties were broken. The

barrier they had started to build so long ago finally


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