Causes of the American Civil War - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Task: Date: Causes of the American Civil War The causes of the American civil war which started in 1861 are varied, and different people attribute these causes to the different parties. Both sections of the Union, the North and South gave different reasons for the war, for example, the Northerners believed that the South sought to remove their liberty (Gordon, 2002)…
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Causes of the American Civil War
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During the period leading up to the civil war, slavery abounded in all the states in the Union, though the Southern states engaged in the act more than the Northern states (Gordon, 2002). This formed the main source of discord, since the Northern states believed that the practice of slavery should be abolished. The main slaves in all the colonies were Black people or Negroes, as they were called. The Southern states used them predominantly for all their work, especially for work in the cotton plantations (NPS, 2005). The Northern view that all farmers and workers should enjoy the fruits of their own labor did not sit well with the use of slave labor, and with the election of Lincoln to office, the issue exploded. One of the main reasons that led to the removal of the Southern states from the federal partnership, and the subsequent war, was the issue of slavery, for example, when the state of Mississippi seceded, it published its declaration of secession from the Federal Union. This declaration contained, in the most part, identification with slavery and the opposition to the Northern stand on the issue. The other main issue that led to the civil war was the apparent economic disparity between the two sides of the union, where the industrial and economic activities between the two factions were varied (Westport, 2006). With the development of the cotton grid in the 1790’s, the Southern states thrived in the production of cotton, since the separation of cotton from its seeds was overly simplified. As a result, these states became focused in the crop economy since there was the availability of cheap labor from slavery (Westport, 2006). Conversely, the Northern economy was more focused on industrialized action. For example, the purchase of cotton from the South and subsequent conversion into finished products. These two actions set up major disparities in the economic climates of the two regions; with the change in the social make up in the Northern states. This change resulted from the evolution of social classes due to mixing of working cultures. This evolution can also be related to slavery since the Southern states stuck to their old social make up in society (NPS, 2005). The other main issue floated as the cause of the civil war was the argument for Federal versus State rights, where each party argued for their part in the union (Gordon, 2002). Since the beginning of the revolution, there were two distinct groups in the argument, those states arguing for more State than Federal rights, and the states arguing for more Federal control. After the American Revolution, the Articles of Confederation introduced the first form of organized government, whose weaknesses was exposed under times of difficulty. This caused the current leaders to come together and introduce the American constitution. However, the leaders of the Southern states felt that the constitution did not give the states the right to act independently; therefore, they fought for nullification, where Federal Acts could be declared unconstitutional. This idea of nullification was completely obliterated by the Federal government. In this respect, the secession movement, which subsequently led to the civil war, started when it was decided that nullification would not work. The continuation of the slavery Read More
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