What Were the Top 4 Causes of the Civil War?
What led to the outbreak of the bloodiest conflict in the history of North America? A common explanation is that the Civil War was fought over the moral issue of slavery. In fact, it was the. Feb 03, · The causes of the Civil War may be traced to a complex mix of factors, some of which can be traced back to the earliest years of American colonization. Principal among the issues were the following.
As I type, the secession movement in California is picking up steam. Polling shows that one in three Californians support leaving the Union following Donald Trump's victorious presidential campaign, and an organization--YesCalifornia. The movement is unlikely to succeed, at least for now. Still, the secession question cauze seem to present an opportunity to look back on causes and conditions that led to America's Civil War. The peculiar institution hovers over dause conflict specter-like.
But to say that slavery was the sole cause of the Civil War overlooks other stark differences that divided the North and South in how to make a round braid lanyard lead-up to it. Historians have speculated that even had the slavery question been resolved peacefully, war or secession still might have occurred during the westward expansion.
Below are five other causes of the Civil War. To be fair, each of these causes was impacted by the institution of slavery to one degree or another. But each cause also existed apart from the institution of slavery. Southern political insecurity was exacerbated by external economic pressure. Around the globe, more and more countries were ramping up production of raw cotton.
Since the South had no financial system to speak of, one bad crop often sent plantation owners to Yankee banks or London ones. The North, on the other hand, was a burgeoning industrial economy with tge elaborate financial sector intent on expansion. In the decade preceding the conflict, California, Minnesota, Oregon and Kansas all became states.
Up until the s, the Union had survived largely through the Missouri Compromise, a Faustian bargain that maintained the political balance between the North and South but did nothing to address the slavery question. The question of how these states were admitted to the Union, and which ones, created what cause the civil war between the North and South.
The Missouri Compromise was killed. The law civill replaced it—the Kansas-Nebraska Act—was found unconstitutional a stunning action at the time. A major political party the Whigs abruptly died. Two free states joined the Union Oregon and Minnesotawhile a slave state Kansas was initially denied entry. All of these things occurred under Democratic presidents relatively sympathetic to slavery. The prospect of a president opposed to slavery struck fear in the hearts wyat Southerners. As the nation changed, it seemed to give credence to John C.
Both North and South burned with righteous anger civl both causs believed in the justice of their cause. This caused not just harsh language, but shat of violence that racked the nation.
One of the earliest instances involved Elijah P. Lovejoy, a printer who was killed in when his small abolitionist newspaper was attacked by a mob of slave sympathizers. In between these events were numerous other violent events, and lawmakers were not immune. Charles Sumner, who on the Senate floor delivered a speech filled with sexual innuendo that impugned the honor of a kinsman of the South Carolina Congressman. In response, Brooks attacked Sumner in his Senate office with a cane, leaving Sumner in a bleeding heap surrounded by cane shards.
It took two years for Sumner to recover. In normal times a violent attack on an old, unarmed man would spark outrage. Uncertainty as to what the federal government could and could not do began before fause ink on the U.
Constitution was dry. If, how, and to what what cause the civil war the federal government could limit or abolish slavery loomed over American history. Lincoln—both before and during the Civil War—said the federal government lacked the power to force emancipation on the states.
Radical Republicans disagreed. All constitutional issues aside, the radicals probably were correct that no nation conceived on such lofty principles could indefinitely condone a system that enslaved. The Census of shows there were some 4 million slaves in the South—compared to 78, in andin The South might have had the Constitution on its side, but history was not. The North and the South shared a common history, but they effectively became two nations in the early 19th century. One was an agrarian society reliant on slave labor that exported cash crops; it awr little liquid capital, less manufacturing, was debt-dependent, favored low tariffs, and opposed direct taxation.
The other was an industrial economy that favored high tariffs to protect industryfavored direct taxation, had an elaborate financial system, and was eager to expand into the West through homesteading and railroads. The anti-slavery movement, many in the South how to make a smoothie with yogurt and ice, was merely a vehicle to achieve Northern dominance.
Jefferson Davis, in a speech in the early s, spoke for many Southerners when he said. It is so that you may have an opportunity of cheating us that you want to limit slave territory. How to use baby powder dry shampoo desire to weaken how to convert jpg to vector political power of the Southern states.
And why? Because you want, by an unjust system of legislation, to promote the industry of the North-East states, at the expense of the people of fause South and their industry.
So, to recap: In the lead-up to Civil War you had a rapidly changing economy precipitated by a suddenly expanding global marketplace, political upheaval in a period of national growth, sharp disagreement on the fundamental purpose and power of the federal government, a collapse of civil discourse and spasms of righteous violence, and a divided people with divergent dreams essentially attempting to build a nation in their own image built on their own ideals. You are currently using the BETA version of our article comments feature.
You may notice some bugs in submission and user experience. Significant improvements are coming soon! Intellectual Takeout is a program of. With talk of secession heating up, a look back on the causes of What do squirrels look like first? Civil War. By Jon Miltimore. Sweeping Economic Changes Southern political insecurity was exacerbated by external economic pressure. There Was a Breakdown of Decorum and Civil Discourse Both North and South burned with righteous anger because both passionately believed wha the justice of their cause.
Fundamental Disagreement on Constitutional Principles Uncertainty as to what the federal government could and could not do began before the ink on the U. Different Nations, Different Dreams The North and the South shared a common history, but they effectively became two nations in the early 19th century. Sound familiar? Add a Comment. Join the conversation Slavery, total abolishment, didn't come up until two years into the war.
The north was loosing and garnered help from people that wanted total abolishment. Before that it would not be allowed in new states joining the Union and would soon disappear. The war started over unfair tariffs. Slavery was a second thought. So those great generals of the South were fighting for economic freedom and didn't have anything to do with slavery except transcendentally. Leave a Comment. California will never succeed, or should What is the meaning of heck say, secede from the United States and any California who fancies such a Liberal idea is smoking something grown in California.
I don't think Liberals in California ought to be angry Trump is elected President. Now let's back to what caused the civil war Get thought-provoking content delivered to your email inbox every weekday.
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Causes Of The Civil War Summary
The Civil War in the United States began in , after decades of simmering tensions between northern and southern states over slavery, states’ rights and westward expansion. The election of. Causes Prior to the war, the North and the South had been divided for decades over the issue of slavery. Measures such as the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of had failed to settle the issue. The Southern economy was based largely on plantation agriculture, and African American slaves did most of the work on the plantations.
The Northern and Southern sections of the United States developed along different lines. The South remained a predominantly agrarian economy while the North became more and more industrialized.
Different social cultures and political beliefs developed. All of this led to disagreements on issues such as taxes, tariffs and internal improvements as well as states rights versus federal rights.
The burning issue that led to the disruption of the union was the debate over the future of slavery. That dispute led to secession, and secession brought about a war in which the Northern and Western states and territories fought to preserve the Union, and the South fought to establish Southern independence as a new confederation of states under its own constitution.
The agrarian South utilized slaves to tend its large plantations and perform other duties. On the eve of the Civil War, some 4 million Africans and their descendants toiled as slave laborers in the South. Slavery was interwoven into the Southern economy even though only a relatively small portion of the population actually owned slaves. Slaves could be rented or traded or sold to pay debts. The states of the North, meanwhile, one by one had gradually abolished slavery. A steady flow of immigrants, especially from Ireland and Germany during the potato famine of the s and s, insured the North a ready pool of laborers, many of whom could be hired at low wages, diminishing the need to cling to the institution of slavery.
Dred Scott was a slave who sought citizenship through the American legal system, and whose case eventually ended up in the Supreme Court.
The famous Dred Scott Decision in denied his request stating that no person with African blood could become a U. Besides denying citizenship for African-Americans, it also overturned the Missouri Compromise of , which had restricted slavery in certain U.
In the Civil War era, this struggle focused heavily on the institution of slavery and whether the federal government had the right to regulate or even abolish slavery within an individual state. The sides of this debate were largely drawn between northern and southern states, thus widened the growing divide within the nation.
By the early s, those who wished to see that institution abolished within the United States were becoming more strident and influential. Within two years it was a nationwide and worldwide bestseller. Depicting the evils of slavery, it offered a vision of slavery that few in the nation had seen before.
The book succeeded at its goal, which was to start a wave of anti-slavery sentiment across the nation. To the slave holding states, this meant Northerners wanted to choose which parts of the Constitution they would enforce, while expecting the South to honor the entire document. The most famous activist of the underground railroad was Harriet Tubman , a nurse and spy in the Civil War and known as the Moses of her people.
Additional territories gained from the U. Abolitionists fought to have slavery declared illegal in those territories, as the Northwest Ordinance of had done in the territory that became the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Advocates of slavery feared that if the institution were prohibited in any states carved out of the new territories the political power of slaveholding states would be diminished, possibly to the point of slavery being outlawed everywhere within the United States.
Pro- and anti-slavery groups rushed to populate the new territories. In Kansas, particularly, violent clashes between proponents of the two ideologies occurred. One abolitionist in particular became famous—or infamous, depending on the point of view—for battles that caused the deaths of pro-slavery settlers in Kansas. His name was John Brown. Ultimately, he left Kansas to carry his fight closer to the bosom of slavery. Brown denied this at his trial, but evidence indicated otherwise.
They were dislodged by a force of U. Marines led by Army lieutenant colonel Robert E. Brown was swiftly tried for treason against Virginia and hanged. Southern reaction initially was that his acts were those of a mad fanatic, of little consequence.
But when Northern abolitionists made a martyr of him, Southerners came to believe this was proof the North intended to wage a war of extermination against white Southerners. Exacerbating tensions, the old Whig political party was dying. Many of its followers joined with members of the American Party Know-Nothings and others who opposed slavery to form a new political entity in the s, the Republican Party.
When the Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln won the presidential election, Southern fears that the Republicans would abolish slavery reached a new peak. Lincoln was an avowed opponent of the expansion of slavery but said he would not interfere with it where it existed. That was not enough to calm the fears of delegates to an secession convention in South Carolina.
South Carolina had threatened this before in the s during the presidency of Andrew Jackson , over a tariff that benefited Northern manufacturers but increased the cost of goods in the South. Jackson had vowed to send an army to force the state to stay in the Union, and Congress authorized him to raise such an army all Southern senators walked out in protest before the vote was taken , but a compromise prevented the confrontation from occurring.
Perhaps learning from that experience the danger of going it alone, in and early South Carolina sent emissaries to other slave holding states urging their legislatures to follow its lead, nullify their contract with the United States and form a new Southern Confederacy. Others voted down secession—temporarily. On April 12, the Confederates opened fire with cannons. At p. War had begun. Lincoln called for volunteers to put down the Southern rebellion. Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee, refusing to fight against other Southern states and feeling that Lincoln had exceeded his presidential authority, reversed themselves and voted in favor of session.
The last one, Tennessee, did not depart until June 8, nearly a week after the first land battle had been fought at Philippi in Western Virginia. The western section of Virginia rejected the session vote and broke away, ultimately forming a new, Union-loyal state, West Virginia. Other mountainous regions of the South, such as East Tennessee, also favored such a course but were too far from the support of Federal forces to attempt it.
Irreconcilable Differences Simmering animosities between North and South signaled an American apocalypse. Any man who takes it upon himself to explain the causes of the Civil War deserves whatever grief comes his way, regardless of his good intentions. Yeats wrote his short poem immediately following the catastrophe of World War I, but his thesis of a great, cataclysmic event is universal and timeless.
It is probably safe to say that the original impetus of the Civil War was set in motion when a Dutch trader offloaded a cargo of African slaves at Jamestown, Va. Of course there were other things, too. For instance, by the eve of the Civil War the sectional argument had become so far advanced that a significant number of Southerners were convinced that Yankees, like Negroes, constituted an entirely different race of people from themselves.
It is unclear who first put forth this curious interpretation of American history, but just as the great schism burst upon the scene it was subscribed to by no lesser Confederate luminaries than president Jefferson Davis himself and Admiral Raphael Semmes, of CSS Alabama fame, who asserted that the North was populated by descendants of the cold Puritan Roundheads of Oliver Cromwell—who had overthrown and executed the king of England in —while others of the class were forced to flee to Holland, where they also caused trouble, before finally settling at Plymouth Rock, Mass.
How beliefs such as this came to pass in the years between and reveals the astonishing capacity of human nature to confound traditional a posteriori deduction in an effort to justify what had become by then largely unjustifiable. But there is blame enough for all to go around. From that first miserable boatload of Africans in Jamestown, slavery spread to all the settlements, and, after the Revolutionary War, was established by laws in the states.
But by the turn of the 19th century, slavery was confined to the South, where the economy was almost exclusively agricultural. For a time it appeared the practice was on its way to extinction. Then along came Eli Whitney with his cotton gin, suddenly making it feasible to grow short-staple cotton that was fit for the great textile mills of England and France.
But beneath this great wealth and prosperity, America seethed. Whenever you have two people—or peoples—joined in politics but doing diametrically opposing things, it is almost inevitable that at some point tensions and jealousies will break out. In the industrial North, there was a low, festering resentment that eight of the first 11 U. For their part, the agrarian Southerners harbored lingering umbrage over the internal improvements policy propagated by the national government, which sought to expand and develop roads, harbors, canals, etc.
These were the first pangs of sectional dissension. Then there was the matter of the Tariff of Abominations, which became abominable for all concerned. This inflammatory piece of legislation, passed with the aid of Northern politicians, imposed a tax or duty on imported goods that caused practically everything purchased in the South to rise nearly half-again in price.
This was because the South had become used to shipping its cotton to England and France and in return receiving boatloads of inexpensive European goods, including clothing made from its own cotton. However, as years went by, the North, particularly New England, had developed cotton mills of its own—as well as leather and harness manufactories, iron and steel mills, arms and munitions factories, potteries, furniture makers, silversmiths and so forth.
And with the new tariff putting foreign goods out of financial reach, Southerners were forced to buy these products from the North at what they considered exorbitant costs. Smart money might have concluded it would be wise for the South to build its own cotton mills and its own manufactories, but its people were too attached to growing cotton. Later, South Carolina legislators acted on this assertion and defied the federal government to overrule them, lest the state secede.
This set off the Nullification Crisis, which held in theory or wishful thinking that a state could nullify or ignore any federal law it held was not in its best interests. The crisis was defused only when President Andrew Jackson sent warships into Charleston Harbor—but it also marked the first time a Southern state had threatened to secede from the Union.
Though the tariff question remained an open sore from its inception in right up to the Civil War, many modern historians have dismissed the impact it had on the growing rift between the two sections of the country.
But any careful reading of newspapers, magazines or correspondence of the era indicates that here is where the feud began to fester into hatred. Some Southern historians in the past have argued this was the root cause of the Civil War. Not only did the tariff issue raise for the first time the frightening specter of Southern secession, but it also seemed to have marked a mazy kind of dividing line in which the South vaguely started thinking of itself as a separate entity—perhaps even a separate country.
All the resenting and seething naturally continued to spill over into politics. The North, with immigrants pouring in, vastly outnumbered the South in population and thus controlled the House of Representatives. But the U. That is until , when Missouri applied for statehood and anti-slavery forces insisted it must be free. That held the thing together for longer than it deserved. In plain acknowledgement that slavery was an offensive practice, Congress in banned the importation of African slaves.
Nevertheless there were millions of slaves living in the South, and their population continued growing. Over the years this group became stronger and by the s had turned into a full-fledged movement, preaching abolition from pulpits and podiums throughout the North, publishing pamphlets and newspapers, and generally stirring up sentiments both fair and foul in the halls of Congress and elsewhere.
At first the abolitionists concluded that the best solution was to send the slaves back to Africa, and they actually acquired land in what is now Liberia, returning a small colony of ex-bondsmen across the ocean.
This did not sit well with the churchgoing Southerners, who were now subjected to being called unpleasant and scandalous names by Northerners they did not even know. This provoked, among other things, religious schisms, which in the mids caused the American Methodist and Baptist churches to split into Northern and Southern denominations.
Somehow the Presbyterians hung together, but it was a strain, while the Episcopal church remained a Southern stronghold and firebrand bastion among the wealthy and planter classes.
Catholics also maintained their solidarity, prompting cynics to suggest it was only because they owed their allegiance to the pope of Rome rather than to any state, country or ideal. Murderous slave revolts had occurred in Haiti, Jamaica and Louisiana and more recently resulted in the killing of nearly 60 whites during the Nat Turner slave uprising in Virginia in