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Discuss Soil Exhaustion as a major contributing factor leading to the American Civil War by addressing the significant events from 1798 to 1861 - Essay Example

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The success of the cotton gin facilitated the separation of the South and the North by fostering slavery. Economic differences between the South and the North, which started in 1798 led to…
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Discuss Soil Exhaustion as a major contributing factor leading to the American Civil War by addressing the significant events from 1798 to 1861
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Soil Exhaustion as a Major Contributing Leading to the American Civil War In 1793, Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, which made cotton extremely profitable. The success of the cotton gin facilitated the separation of the South and the North by fostering slavery. Economic differences between the South and the North, which started in 1798 led to eruption of the civil war in 1861. The Southern economy depended solely on cotton. The Northern industries were buying raw cotton from South and processing it to finished products. Civil war was a war in which industrial strength and technology played a significant role (McNeese 6). The North had developed an increasingly industrialized mixed economy while the South developed the agricultural economy. From 1800 to 1861, there were high percentages of slaves in the South than in the North. During this period, there were slave rebellions; most of the slaves were captured and executed (McNeese 7).
Southern states kept government spending and taxation at low levels due to high debts as compared to the North. Southerners were incapable of supporting education as compared to the Northerners. Illiteracy was widespread in the South; in 1850, 20 percent of all white adults in the Southern states were illiterate. In the North, illiteracy was less than one percent. Though slavery was profitable, it contributed to soil exhaustion, lack of technological innovation and high debts. Soil exhaustion and erosion diminished cotton land availability.
High demand and scarcity resulted to increase in price of land and slavery. Planters enlarged their holdings, and as a result, they pushed off yeomen farmers from the land. As slaves and land possession became more concentrated, harsh economic conditions led to migration to urban areas. Urban population increased in the North leading to urban poverty and low industrial wages. This migration caused fierce differences between the South and the North (McNeese 8).
On March 1807, Congress passed legislation, which banned the importation of new slaves into U.S. From 1803 to 1861, various countries joined unions of either demarcated Slave states or Free states. The Congress increased tariffs in 1828 with the Tariff of Abominations. The tariffs aimed at supporting the U.S. industry; these tariffs benefited the Northern industrial economy while damaging the Southern agricultural economy.
From 1827 to 1861, slavery was abolished in New York, District of Columbia, and British Empire. In 1833, the Compromise Tariff Act was passed to reduce tariffs of concern in the Southern states; it averted the confrontation. In 1851, the Congress modified the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793; this strengthened the Act to allow slaveholders to retrieve slaves in free territories and Northern states. In 1854, the Congress approved the Kansas –Nebraska Act that overturned the Missouri Compromise thus opening the Northern territory to slavery. On November 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected as the American president and inaugurated on March 1861. The Southern states claimed that the government assisted southern slaves making them leave the states. On December 1860, Major General Anderson moved his troops to Ft. Sumter from Ft. Moultrie, South Carolina (McNeese 9).
On February 1861, the Provisional Constitution of the Confederacy was adopted in Montgomery, Alabama. Jefferson Davis was voted as the President of the Confederacy. In 1861, various states seceded from the Union including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. On March 1861, the Confederate Congress authorized an army of volunteers. On April 1861, the war began when the Confederates fired South Carolina’s Ft. Sumter. During the civil war allegiance of Mexican Americans, especially those living in Texas were deeply divided. Some Mexican Americans joined the troops for the Confederacy, while others voluntarily joined the Union army. Texas territory contributed to Mexican – American war (McNees 12).

Works Cited
McNeese, Tim. America’s Civil War. Dayton: Lorenz Educational Press, 2003. Print. Read More
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