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The most important event in Evaluating Causes of the Civil War - Essay Example

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 Running head: THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENT IN EVALUATING CAUSES OF THE CIVIL WAR The Most Important Event in Evaluating Causes of the Civil War Insert Name Insert Insert 04 November 2011 Historians have argued at length concerning what was the most important event (e.g., The Kansas Nebraska Act, Harper's Ferry, the Dred Scott decision etc.) in evaluating the causes of the civil war…
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The most important event in Evaluating Causes of the Civil War
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The most important event in Evaluating Causes of the Civil War

Download file to see previous pages... The causes of the war can be traced mainly to the divisions over slavery that had been rocking the country since the 1780s. During the founding of the nation, the founding fathers ironed out compromises and language in the Constitution in a way that balanced the divisions between the regions so that they could coexist politically as a united nation. Generally, by the early 1800s, the Northern states had abolished slavery or laid out a system of gradual emancipation, while the demand for slaves for new plantations in the Southern states such as Alabama, Mississippi, Northern Florida and Louisiana was increasing rapidly (Carlisle, 2008). By 1808, the Northern and Southern states had agreed to ban importation of slaves from overseas. With the North being against slavery while the south supported it, maintaining political balance between the Northern and Southern states was more difficult. The congress lacked jurisdiction over aspects and laws regulating slavery within the member states. For around two decades since 1800, the Congress continued to admit new states into the Union in pairs, comprising of one state with slavery and one without in attempt to maintain political balance. For example, in 1820, Missouri was admitted as a slave state while at the same time Maine was admitted as a free state. In 1850, the balance was finally broken when the Southern states allowed California to join the Union as a free state in exchange to laws strengthening slavery and addition of Minnesota and Oregon as Free states (Hickman, 2011). With the balance, distorted political debates tightened as the representatives of Southern states felt that the rapidly expanding Northern population would create more new Free states, and diluting their control in the federal government. Meanwhile, the Northern states opposed the political power of Southerners and wanted the political power of Free States to dominate. Additionally, on the new territories acquired from Mexico, the Northerners believed that the Southerners were out to expand and dominate in the new territories, while the Southerners believed that if the Northerners extended prohibition of slavery in the new territories, it would be an extension of domination and tyranny over the South against the existing constitutional compromises. Tensions were further fuelled by the rise of Abolitionist movement, which believed that slavery was morally wrong and should be abolished. Radical abolitionist such as William Lloyd Garrison, and Fredrick Douglas advocated for immediate emancipation of the slaves, while moderated Abolitionists such as Theodore Weld, Arthur Tappan, and Abraham Lincoln wanted to curb slavery and its influence (Hickman, 2011). The publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1852, improved support for Abolitionist cause, as it succeeded in influencing the public against the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act. Due to developments from the Compromise of 1850 and Kansas crisis, the country’s major two parties, the Whigs and Democrats, began to weaken along the regional lines (Kazin, 2011, p.492). The weakening of the Whigs in the North led to emergence of a new party, the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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