Civil War Essay

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Economic disagreements between North and South
The Civil War was a time of great disparity in the history of the United States but one commonly overlooked fact was what caused all the fighting. Some think it was slavery and although that may be true, there is a lot more to it. Before the civil war, the north and the south had quite different beliefs but were kept together under the federal government. Basically, the civil war was eminent; all that was needed was that final straw to break the camel’s back, or in this case, the three straws.
This country has always prioritized keeping a fiscally strong economy, so it’s not very surprising to say that the economic based occurrences such as cotton gin, tariffs and the “panic of 1857” were related to the civil war. The question that is begging to be asked is how? The answer is very simple. The economic benefits of cotton gin, the devastating consequences of tariffs and “the panic of 1857,” were the main causes of the civil war because the north and south couldn’t agree on the backbone of the economy.
Although slave based labor is believed to be the reason for cotton in the South, many experts agree that the death of nearly 600,000 American men and women can be contributed to an invention made in 1794. The cotton gin reformed the process of separating cotton from its seed, which dramatically reduced expenses, increased production and made cotton usable (Teaching With Documents:Eli Whitney's Patent for the Cotton Gin). In nearly 50 years, the culture of agriculture in the south was forever changed. Before the cotton gin became a necessity, the U.S only produced around 750,000 bales of hay in 1830 (Cotton Is King: Pro-Slavery Arguments). Twenty years after the cotton gin became popular, the production number grew to three million bales. To make matters worse, the production of cotton was concentrated in the south due to the crops special weather requirement in order to grow. As processing cotton became easier and faster, it also became more profitable for land owners to expand their plantations, however there was a catch; the bigger the plantation, the bigger the labour force, which translated into acquiring more slaves. This caused the slave population to increase by almost five times in size, which lead the south to provide two thirds of the worlds' cotton supply (Pro-Slavery Arguments). The south had become too dependent on slaves to keep their business rolling. During all the political disagreements regarding slaves and new states, the south began fearing the chance of a nationally slave free country which meant bankruptcy for their economy. Finally after high tariffs on cotton written in the north, the south couldn’t risk it anymore.
Many historians believed that the agricultural south needed cotton production in order to have a stable economy and as more non-slavery states entered the union, southern leaders believed the balance in the nation’s capital began to shift which would lead to harsher tariffs for the south. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that tariffs were an attempt to disapprove the use of slavery on the south. This is easily seen in South Carolinas writing, “Declaration of Immediate Causes” which overall states that there is “an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery.” A prime example of the economic disagreements between the north and south is shown in The Morrill Tariff. This tariff was “a high protective tariff in the United States, adopted on March 2, 1861, during the administration of President James Buchanan, a Democrat. It was a key element of the platform of the new Republican Party.” (Did Tariffs Really Cause the Civil War?). The north loved this tariff because it made it possible for rapid industrial growth as it “raised rates to protect and encourage industry and the high wages of industrial workers” (Economics and the Civil War). The south hated this tariff as it replaced the low