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