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Specific Causes of the Civil War - Essay Example

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Historians still debate this complex issue. While many theories exist, three main causes have come to the forefront f historical research, study, and discussion. The economic and cultural differences between the North and the South, when combined with the moral dilemma f slavery ignited the American Civil War…
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Specific Causes of the Civil War
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Download file to see previous pages Arguments between the North and South had been growing for more than thirty years. One important issue was over taxes paid on goods that were imported into this country from overseas. This tax was called a tariff. In 1828, Northern businessmen were instrumental in getting the "Tariff Act" passed. This act raised prices f goods manufactured in Europe and sold mainly in the South. Its purpose was to subtly force the South to buy the North's products. This angered the Southern people because they were forced to pay more for the goods they needed (Rozwenc). Although most f the tariff laws had been changed by the time the Civil War actually began, the Southerners never forgot how unfairly they were treated by the northern businessmen. Northerners accepted the ideal f free enterprise. The advantage f the states in the north concerning industry was immense. The North had countless factories employing immigrants in numerous industries. Manufacturing was mainly concentrated in New England and the Middle Atlantic states. Conversely, the South had only agriculture. Large plantation farms used slaves to harvest their crops. The South had few fast running rivers, which were needed to generate power for factories. Southerners did not believe in the northern society and found no reason to exchange old agricultural traditions for what they perceived to be unsafe investments and new ways f living. The United States developed two very different economic systems: the rural south and the industrialized north. Because these differences shaped two separate cultural and social patterns, it was impossible to combine these differing philosophies without heavy resistance from both sides (Nevins).
During this period, the political system was formed into what it has become today; for example, two dominating political parties and the strong power f the president. When one tries to see just how the American Civil War came about, one need look no further than the two American Presidents who faced one another in the most terrible war America has fought. Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis did not cause the war. They were both moderates and shared a vision that the country could resolve its differences without bloodshed. Nevertheless, despite their good intentions, the war came. They fought one another and led others to fight. Lincoln and Davis were both leaders and victims f the times. Unfortunately, in the end the moderate way collapsed and the nation stumbled into a situation where moderation was no longer a possibility. For that reason, the country tried to work out a solution by using violence. The solution it got was imperfect and remains so even today (Catton).
This period f time can also be defined as "the era f regional conflicts" (Stampp). More land was needed for settlement because f massive immigration and the rapid rise in population. This led to the expansion f the west where Native Americans were cruelly taken from their reservations. To expedite this movement west, a number f railroads were built, mainly from New England. These improved communications tied the West and the East together to the North. The South, which exported most f its cotton to Great Britain, did not need as many railroads. Consequently, the two regions depended very little upon each other commercially and, therefore, never felt connected to one ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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