Causes of the civil war1

This essay has a total of 1823 words and 8 pages.


causes of the civil war1




Events that led to the Civil War

There were several issues that contributed to the split between the northern and southern
states. Among these were the deep social, economic and political differences. The split
could be traced as far back as the early 1800ís, just as the industrial revolution was
beginning. Itís effects on the north and the south caused the economic split. As the
north was becoming more industrialized; the south began to rely heavily on slave labor.
This was one of the main reasons, as the southern view on slavery differed greatly from
the North. These views were based on drastically different interpretations of the
constitution.


In the north, machines, interchangeable parts, and mass production were fast becoming a
way of life. Northerners began building factories for mass production. These first
factories were used for making textiles and later evolved to manufacturing a wide variety
of goods. This created several opportunities for jobs. And with immigrants flooding in
from Europe, finding employment was no problem. The factory system was efficient and
inexpensive for the north to employ a large work force.


In the south, cotton was becoming a huge success for the southern farmer. Cotton, being a
very laborious crop, required the ownership of many slaves per plantation. Unlike the
immigrants of the north, slaves were property. Slaves were also much less of a profit.
When a slave became ill he could not simply be replaced, he needed to be cared for, after
all, this was the plantation owners property. On the other hand in the north if a worker
became to ill to work, there were several immigrants waiting for the job.


In 1818, the balance of power in congress was equal. They were represented by ten free
states, and ten slave states. Then Illinois became the eleventh free state to join the
union, with Alabama following as the next slave state. In 1819, two more states wishing to
join the union, were Missouri and Maine. Missouri wanted to join the union in the in the
north, but as a slave state. this would make the balance of power in congress unequal.
Many northerners opposed this idea. Northerners proposed that Missouri be a slave state
and that no more slaves were to be brought in, and all slave children would be free at
age 25. Eventually Missouri would be a free state. Southerners were opposed to this
idea. Congress debated for months. This brought about the Missouri Compromise of 1820,
when Henry Clay proposed that Maine enter the union as a free state. He also proposed
prohibiting slavery above the 36í30í latitude, which is the southern boundary of Missouri.
Since plantations would not be able to survive further north of this line, the South
agreed.


Another minor step leading to the war, was a disagreement over tariffs on imports and
exports. In 1828 a tariff was passed that tried to help New England manufacturers. The
tariff was as high as 45% to 50% of the original European prices. The north wanted the
higher tariffs so that their products could compete on the same level as foreign products
which were much cheaper. Opponents of the tariff called it the tariff of abomination.
Southerners strongly opposed the tariff because they exported cotton and other materials
to Europe, in exchange, European goods were imported to America. Southerners claimed it
was an indirect tax on their region of the United States. The north did not need to buy
as many foreign products as the south because they were self-sufficient. They began to
ask for individual state rights. South Carolina went as far as to ask for the tariff to
be removed from them or they would succeed. The tariff was lowered.


After the United States won the war with Mexico, it meant more land, but the Missouri
Compromise of 1820 only dealt with the Louisiana Territory. In 1864, David Wilmont, of
Pennsylvania, proposed an answer. His plan was that any land received from Mexico would
be free land. The bill was able to pass in the House of Representatives because the
Northerners controlled it. It was killed in the senate, where the southerners were in
control. It was evident that there was little that either side could do to pass a law
that one side favored, but the other opposed. Showing a continuing separation that would
last until the war.


In 1849, when gold was discovered in California, thousands of people flocked to find their
fortunes. Later California applied for statehood as a free state. The south opposed.
Their reasoning was that there were 15 free states and 15 slave states, and this would
upset the balance of power in congress. If California were admitted as a free state the
South would not be able to stop any bill from passing in congress, since the North would
gain control of congress. This was not the only dispute that the congress had to deal
with. They were also in debate over slavery in the new territories. These two things
brought about the Compromise of 1850. In the compromise the north received California as
a free state, and prohibited the trade of slaves in Washington D.C. In return, the South
was able to enact tougher fugitive slave laws, allowing them to send bounty hunters after
any escaped slaves. The new slave laws made the South happy, but did nothing to help
their relationship with the North. When northern communities witnessed how southerners
retrieved their slaves, and saw how they were treated by the southerners, many of them
began to sympathize with the slaves, and began to support the abolishment of slavery. In
addition to the tougher slave laws, the South also gained sovereignty in the new
territories. This opened slavery to the new lands. The compromise of 1850 delayed the
war for 11 years. During this time the North grew stronger, and became more
Continues for 4 more pages >>