Essay on Causes of the Civil War

Submitted By kateischens3
Words: 961
Pages: 4

Kate Eischens
6th Hour
Despite its misleading title, the American Civil War was a far from civil affair. The
sectional conflict between the Union and the Confederacy resulted in the death of roughly two
percent of the country’s population (or an estimated 620 thousand men) and is still regarded as
the United States’ bloodiest and most brutal war; it would only make sense that the causes
leading up to this great rivalry would be extremely severe as well. The Confederacy’s secession
from the Union was completely justified, because of the continuous supply of unreasonable taxes
and tariffs imposed on them, they were cheated and manipulated in nationwide compromises,
and they advocated their beliefs more peacefully and mature while still remaining passionate.
One validation of the permissibility of the Confederacy’s separation from the United
States was evident in the irrational taxes forced on them by the Union. One particular tax,
enforced starting in 1859, is a perfect example. History.com states, “on April 24, 1863, Congress
passed the toughest tax law ever seen in the South. Rates were increased, an income tax was
authorized, and a profits tax was imposed on farm products; farmers and planters were subjected
to a tax­in­kind, which required them to contribute one­tenth of their annual crop yield to the
government.” This excerpt fantastically expresses how the Southern states were constantly
outnumbered and pushed into the corner by the North. Being bullied into paying unreasonable
taxes and tariffs like this one was just one example of how the South’s actions were more
cooperative and easily justifiable, another of which concerns federal compromises.
An additional reason the South’s secession from the Union was entirely valid was due to
their constant disadvantages regarding multiple national compromises. For instance, the

Compromise of 1850 that took place under the new president Millard Fillmore, had five major
outcomes that were intended to avoid further sectional strife, four of which benefitted the
northern states. Historynet.com states on the Compromise of 1850 that “although the South
received a few benefits, the North seemed to gain the most. California is admitted as a free state,
disturbing the balance in the Senate, Texas loses a boundary dispute, shrinking its size, and the
slave trade is prohibited in Washington D.C.” From this statement, it is obvious that the southern
states drew the short end of the stick, but their misfortune doesn’t end there. In the Missouri
Compromise, James W. Loewen’s article in the Washington post clearly displays that territory
gained by free states was approximately four times the size of slave territory that the South won.
Tolerating the deceitful Union with patience was just one part of the legitimacy of the
Confederate secession, along with sophisticated and civilized ways of carrying out ideas and
opinions.
Southern states leading up to the Civil War obviously endured countless unfair decisions
from the government, and did so with grace, but they also managed to control their feelings and
were significantly less destructive and attacking than the North, doing so with minimal hostility
and violence. A representation of the inappropriately aggressive actions taken by the Union is
perfectly exemplified by John Brown (an out­of­control Bostonian abolitionist) and his raid on
Harper’s Ferry. Brown had the intention of invading this United States Army arsenal and
eventually killing off all southern slave owners, arming slaves with guns and other weapons and
instructing them to murder their owner. “Southerners were shocked and outraged. How could
anyone be sympathetic to a fanatic who destroyed their property and threatened their very lives?
How could they live under a government whose citizens regarded John Brown as a martyr?” (as

said by ushistory.org) No attacks to the severity of John Brown’s Harpers Ferry Raid, or the
intent of…