Causes Of The American Civil War

Submitted By Cody1021
Words: 1135
Pages: 5

Essay 5-A The Civil War in the US took place from 1861 to 1865. Many Americans lost their lives, but in the end, America was finally united. The United States was finally a single nation instead a company of states with their own establishments. The United States had many problems that led to the Civil War. One of the main causes for war was the social and economic differences between the North and the South. The South was basically a one crop economy because of the invention of the cotton gin. They were very dependent on cotton, and the cotton farming depended upon slavery. On the other hand, the North’s economy was based on industry. They would take the cotton and turn it into finished goods. The gap between them set up very different economic views and attitudes. Northern lifestyle evolved around city life in which people evolved in different cultures, while the South stayed old-fashioned socially. Two groups emerged in the United States before the Civil War. One group was for states’ rights while the other favored federal rights. This division within the country would prove to be a major factor for the Civil War. The Articles of Confederation was the first government in the U.S. and was weak for the federal government. As many problems arose from the Articles, some leaders decided to meet “in secret” to create the U.S. constitution. Many people believed that this constitution set aside state rights to continue to act alone. They believed that they should have the right to deny federal acts that they did not want. This lead to the idea of nullification that stated, the states had the right to rule a federal act as unconstitutional. However, the federal government denied this right for states and led to people like John C. Calhoun to fight strongly for nullification. As nullification continued to fail, they started to feel as if states were no longer respected so they moved toward secession. Slavery became the most prominent cause for the Civil War. As the U.S. began to grow from things like the Louisiana Purchase and the Mexican War, the question of whether these new states would be slave states became very controversy. The Missouri Compromise had prohibited slavery in the new states acquired by the Louisiana Purchase, except for Missouri. Also, in the Mexican War, people began to scuffle about the new land they assumed they would acquire after victory. A man by the name of David Wilmot in 1846 proposed the Wilmot Proviso that would ban slavery in these new lands. As a result, the Compromise of 1850 stated whether a state was a “slave state” or a “free state”. One of the five bills in the compromise was the Fugitive Slave Act. This became very controversial because many northerners saw it as unconstitutional. However, an even more major issue had taken place in Kansas. Pro-Slavery Missourians came into Kansas to help force it to become a slave state. The fighting of the people in Lawrence, Kansas became known as “Bleeding Kansas.” The fight got very malicious and an anti-slavery proponent was beat on his head by a senator! The Abolitionist Movement was vastly growing in America during this time. Many Northerners began to grow against the idea of slavery. Sympathy had begun to expand for the Abolitionist and against slaveholders. Many of these feelings came after the all famous Novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Also, the Dred Scott Case, along with the Fugitive Slave Act had an immense impact on Northerner’s views toward slavery and its cruelty. The final straw was the election of the great Abraham Lincoln. He acted upon his beliefs that all men should be free, which would lead to the Civil War.
In 1848, the Mexican War had ended, giving the United States the territories, California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico. It expanded the United States westward, but had brought upon a problem to America. They did not know