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Causes Of The Civil War
Word Count: 1912
South, which was known as the Confederate States of America, seceded from the
North, which was also known as the Union, for many different reasons. The
reason they wanted to succeed was because there was four decades of great sectional
conflict between the two. Between the North and South there were deep economic,
social, and political differences. The South wanted to become an independent
nation. There were many reasons why the South wanted to succeed but the main
reason had to do with the North’s view on slavery. All of this was basically
a different interpretation of the United States Constitution on both sides.
In the end all of these disagreements on both sides led to the Civil War,
in which the North won.
There were a few reasons other then the slavery
issue, that the South disagreed on and that persuaded them to succeed from
the Union. Basically the North favored a loose interpretation of the United
States Constitution. They wanted to grant the federal government increased
powers. The South wanted to reserve all undefined powers to the individual
states. The North also wanted internal improvements sponsored by the federal
government. This was more roads, railroads, and canals. The South, on the
other hand, did not want these projects to be done at all. Also the North wanted
to develop a tariff. With a high tariff, it protected the Northern manufacturer.
It was bad for the South because a high tariff would not let the south trade
its cotton for foreign goods.
The North also wanted a good banking and currency
system and federal subsidies for shipping and internal improvements. The South
felt these were discriminatory and that they favored Northern commercial interests.
Now the main reason for the South’s secession was the Slavery issue. Basically
the South wanted and needed it and the North did not want it at all. The South
was going to do anything they could to keep it. This was the issue that overshadowed
all others. At this time the labor force in the South had about 4 million
slaves. These slaves were very valuable to the slaveholding planter class.
They were a huge investment to Southerners and if taken away, could mean massive
losses to everyone. Slaves were used in the South as helpers in the fields
in the cultivation of tobacco, rice, and indigo, as well as many other jobs.
The South especially needed more slaves at this time because they were now
growing more cotton then ever because of the invention of the cotton gin.
Cotton production with slaves jumped from 178,000 bales in 1810 to over 3,841,000
bales in 1860. Within that time period of 50 years the number of slaves also
rose from about 1,190,000 to over 4,000,000. The plantation owners in the
could not understand why the North wanted slavery abolished that bad.
Southerners compared it with the wage-slave system of the North. They said
that the slaves were better cared for then the free factory workers in the
North. Southerners said that slaveowners provided shelter, food, care, and
regulation for a race unable to compete in the modern world without proper
training. Many Southern preachers proclaimed that slavery was sanctioned in
the Bible. But after the American Revolution slavery really died it the North,
just as it was becoming more popular in the South. By the time of 1804 seven
of the northern most states had abolished slavery. During this time a surge
of democratic reform swept the North and West. There were demands for political
equality and economic and social advances. The Northerners goals were free
public education, better salaries and working conditions for workers, rights
for women, and better treatment for criminals. The South felt these views
were not important. All of t
hese views eventually led to an attack on the
slavery system in the South, and showed opposition to its spread into whatever
new territories that were acquired. Northerners said that slavery revoked
the human right of being a free person. Now with all these views the North
set out on its quest for the complete abolition of slavery.
When new territories
became available in the West the South wanted to expand and use slavery in
the newly acquired territories. But the North opposed to this and wanted to
stop the extension of slavery into new territories. The North wanted to limit
the number of slave states in the Union. But many Southerners felt that a
government dominated by free states could endanger existing slaveholdings.
The South wanted to protect their states rights.
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Slavery in the United States, Bleeding Kansas, Abolitionism in the United States, Missouri in the American Civil War, Presidency of Millard Fillmore, Origins of the American Civil War, Missouri Compromise, Compromise, Slave and free states, Stephen A. Douglas, Abolitionism, American Civil War
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