What caused the american civil war?
For my coursework i need to evaluate factors which could have caused the american civil war and need a conclusion to decide which one was the main factor. Im not sure what factors i should use but i think i should do : westward expansion, slavery and Abraham Lincoln. Would this make a good piece of work or am i missing something?
- NucleusLv 68 years agoFavorite Answer
You might have missed the legal view in slavery.
Initially, there were privately owned slaves. Then, they were registered under the state, and the ownership transferred to public. That registration gave a citizenship number to the public slaves.
"Liberty" is just a slavery concept.
If you do a good research, you will know the difference between "Republic vs Democracy", and who owns, but who rules "United States" of America.
This was the main cause of American civil war.
People of America lost the intelligence side of it and surrendered to be public slaves.
After all, US became a killer machine for humanity, though unwillingly or unknowingly backed up by the good people of America.
- Leo LLv 78 years ago
Slavery was the overriding issue. States' rights was smoke and mirrors, an excuse, not a reason to rebel. The South wanted to avoid making slavery their stated cause. It was seen as bad P.R. They knew that they would need help from Europe, probably Britain. Many European countries would have preferred that the U.S. be fractured. States had ceded their authority, when they ratified the Constitution. The Constitution was designed to place the federal authority over the states, because the original plan. of a weaker federal government had failed, under the Articles of Confederation. Newspaper articles, from the time of the ratification votes, urged ratification on the grounds that it would prevent states from secession.
- classmateLv 78 years ago
You seem to have a good grasp of the basic facts.
As the United States expanded westward in the 1800s, the most heated controversy between the North and South was the issue of slavery in the new Western territories.
Southern slave states wanted slavery in the new territories so that those territories would eventually become slave states and send pro-slavery Senators and Representatives to Congress. (Also, since importing slaves from Africa had been outlawed, slaveowners in the new territories would have had to buy slaves bred on Southern plantations. That would have been extremely profitable for the
When Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 presidential election, running on a platform that opposed slavery in the territories, Southern states began seceding from the Union, which touched off the Civil War. Lincoln wasn't calling for the immediate abolition of slavery, but free territories could eventually have become free states, sending anti-slavery Senators and Representatives to Congress. So Lincoln's election victory was seen by Southerners as the handwriting on the wall, a sign that the U.S. was moving in an anti-slavery direction and would eventually abolish slavery. (Although the South was fighting a pro-slavery war, it's important to note that the North was not fighting an anti-slavery war. The North was fighting to preserve the Union, fighting for the principle that no state had the right to secede.)
Many Southerners today like to claim that the Confederacy and the secession cause were not all about slavery and racism. Back at the time of the Civil War, however, Confederate leaders were much more honest about their motives. They believed that blacks were inferior to whites. They believed that slavery was a good thing. They were fighting to preserve the institution of slavery and they said so openly over and over again.
In his infamous "Cornerstone Speech," Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens said that the Declaration of Independence had been wrong to say that all men are created equal: "Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the n*gro is not equal to the white man; that slavery -- subordination to the superior race -- is his natural and normal condition."
The Southern states that published declarations setting forth their reasons for seceding from the Union all said that a commitment to the institution of slavery and a belief in black inferiority were at the heart of their cause.
"Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery," said Mississippi's declaration.
Georgia declared, "For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery."
South Carolina justified its secession on the basis of "an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery."
Texas declared that it was committed to "maintaining and protecting the institution known as n*gro slavery -- the servitude of the African to the white race."
You hear a lot of smoke-screen talk about "states' rights," but the central issue was slavery.
You can read the full texts of the secession declarations here:
You can read the "Cornerstone Speech" here:
- RAFIQALv 68 years ago
I think you should do the factor of Abe Lincoln and Slavery. Slavery alhtough worng was the way the southern Sates made money since they were more agricultrula while the North became more industrialized and used machinery insetad or people for hard labor. The South didn't like the North attempting to chnage their econmic means and as a result all the States seceded forming the Confederacy.
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- 8 years ago
There were many factors that initiated the American civil war. But the real reason is a bit harder to find. Yes it deals back to Abraham lincoln and slavery. But mainly it was the vampires. You see Abraham had a personal vendetta to rid the country of all the slave ownin vampires down in the south. Which when they encountered opposition since the vampires had so much pull in the government the south split from the union and retaliated. Its all In a book. And a recent movie that Tim burton directed. Haha idk I'm just bored at work I don't know te cause of the war. But the reason that the south split from the union was all about the issue of slavery. So I'm sure that it also led to the cause of the war. I hope you read through the first part of my answer and gt down to the part that actually mattered haha
- Bob BLv 78 years ago
Another key issue was state's rights, which ties in with (but is separate from) the issue of slavery. One of the main issues involved was how much power states had to govern themselves compared to the federal government, and when the south adopted a new constitution it contained stronger protections for state's rights.
Slavery was one of the main "rights" being fought over, in that the south was trying to stop the North interfering in the southern slave economy, itself a key factor in the economy of most of the southern states by that point.
- Anonymous8 years ago
Good. western expansion not so much. I would add States Rights (including the right to allow slavery) . It is interesting to note that Lincoln did not even appear on the ballot in most Southern States. When he won many were understandably incensed.
- staisilLv 78 years ago
1. Economic and social differences between the North and the South.
With Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin in 1793, cotton became very profitable. This machine was able to reduce the time it took to separate seeds from the cotton. However, at the same time the increase in the number of plantations willing to move from other crops to cotton meant the greater need for a large amount of cheap labor, i.e. slaves. Thus, the southern economy became a one crop economy, depending on cotton and therefore on slavery. On the other hand, the northern economy was based more on industry than agriculture. In fact, the northern industries were purchasing the raw cotton and turning it into finished goods. This disparity between the two set up a major difference in economic attitudes. The South was based on the plantation system while the North was focused on city life. This change in the North meant that society evolved as people of different cultures and classes had to work together. On the other hand, the South continued to hold onto an antiquated social order.
2. States versus federal rights.
Since the time of the Revolution, two camps emerged: those arguing for greater states rights and those arguing that the federal government needed to have more control. The first organized government in the US after the American Revolution was under the Articles of Confederation. The thirteen states formed a loose confederation with a very weak federal government. However, when problems arose, the weakness of this form of government caused the leaders of the time to come together at the Constitutional Convention and create, in secret, the US Constitution. Strong proponents of states rights like Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry were not present at this meeting. Many felt that the new constitution ignored the rights of states to continue to act independently. They felt that the states should still have the right to decide if they were willing to accept certain federal acts. This resulted in the idea of nullification, whereby the states would have the right to rule federal acts unconstitutional. The federal government denied states this right. However, proponents such as John C. Calhoun fought vehemently for nullification. When nullification would not work and states felt that they were no longer respected, they moved towards secession.
3. The fight between Slave and Non-Slave State Proponents.
As America began to expand, first with the lands gained from the Louisiana Purchase and later with the Mexican War, the question of whether new states admitted to the union would be slave or free. The Missouri Compromise passed in 1820 made a rule that prohibited slavery in states from the former Louisiana Purchase the latitude 36 degrees 30 minutes north except in Missouri. During the Mexican War, conflict started about what would happen with the new territories that the US expected to gain upon victory. David Wilmot proposed the Wilmot Proviso in 1846 which would ban slavery in the new lands. However, this was shot down to much debate. The Compromise of 1850 was created by Henry Clay and others to deal with the balance between slave and free states, northern and southern interests. One of the provisions was the fugitive slave act that was discussed in number one above. Another issue that further increased tensions was the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. It created two new territories that would allow the states to use popular sovereignty to determine whether they would be free or slave. The real issue occurred in Kansas where proslavery Missourians began to pour into the state to help force it to be slave. They were called "Border Ruffians." Problems came to a head in violence at Lawrence Kansas. The fighting that occurred caused it to be called "Bleeding Kansas." The fight even erupted on the floor of the senate when antislavery proponent Charles Sumner was beat over the head by South Carolina's Senator Preston Brooks.
4. Growth of the Abolition Movement.
Increasingly, the northerners became more polarized against slavery. Sympathies began to grow for abolitionists and against slavery and slaveholders. This occurred especially after some major events including: the publishing of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, the Dred Scott Case, John Brown's Raid, and the passage of the fugitive slave act that held individuals responsible for harboring fugitive slaves even if they were located in non-slave states.
5. The election of Abraham Lincoln.
Even though things were already coming to a head, when Lincoln was elected in 1860, South Carolina issued its "Declaration of the Causes of Secession." They believed that Lincoln was anti-slavery and in favor of Northern interests. Before Lincoln was even president, seven states had seceded from the Union: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.
- Anonymous8 years ago
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- Anonymous8 years ago
It wasn't me - I didn't start it - honest!Source(s): JellyFish