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Civil War - Essay Example

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Tell how you would have reacted to the attack on Fort Sumter. Include a discussion of the South’s arguments about States’ rights and “The Cause” as understood by Southerners.
On issues such as the sovereignty of…
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Civil War
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Civil War

Download file to see previous pages... The sovereignty they believed was their right was constantly threatened in the period leading up to the Civil War as the balance of power moved from the Southern States to the Northern. It was felt that these States were being eroded as their ability to self-determine slowly changed. Particularly the Northern States’ greater voting power was questioned by Southern leaders such as John Calhoun, who advocated secession from the Union if certain issues were not resolved. He argued that the Union could eventually only be held together by the superior numbers, and the superior wealth of the Northern States as they forced the South to remain in the Union (Calhoun, 1850).
It was particularly in the Nullification ordinances that the South expressed resistance to Northern dominance. For example in 1828, a Tariff was imposed on foreign imports by the Federal Government. The Southern States argued that this tariff was intended to favor domestic manufacturers and only certain foreign manufacturers, primarily based on Northern business interests. In fact, it was felt that the Tariff of 1928 “exceeded its just powers … and … the true meaning and intent of the Constitution” (Calhoun, 1832, & The Constitution of the United States of America Overview, 2012). Thus Ordinances of Nullification were published by the Southern States (for example the South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification) declaring that this and other federal laws would not be honored by these States. The North’s response can be summarized in the words of President Andrew Jackson, that United States laws are “paramount to State constitutions and laws”. (Jackson, 1932)
Similarly, slavery was threatened, and consequently so was the way of life, economic prosperity and a perceived equality with all the States in the Union in the Southern States. As world opinion moved against Slavery, so too did the dominant political opinion among the Northern States. For Southern ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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