The Causes Of The Civil War

This essay has a total of 924 words and 11 pages.

The Causes Of The Civil War

"The tragic ‘fireball

in the night' imagined by Jefferson had finally rung. The

Missouri Compromise had failed. Proslavery and

antislavery civilians clashed in the streets and took up arms.

Thousands of Northerners were willing to die for their

beliefs. The Civil War had begun. The states were at war

with each other." This dividing battle between the North

and the South was unavoidable. The Civil War was caused

by economic, political and moral problems. It all started by

an alarming increase in a need for cotton, which triggered

the building of a barrier between two territories in a

growing nation. New Machinery was changing the textile

industry in New England and Britain. These mills needed

more and more cotton, creating a new demand in the south.

For this trade with Europe, after 1812, raw cotton

accounted for one-third all cotton exports of the United

States. By 1830, it increased to half. Cotton quickly

became a big money-making cash crop for the South and

North economy alike. But the demand also revived the

need for slaves. The plantations had to be worked, and

blacks were a cheap, efficient way to get the cotton

picked. To make their jobs easier, Eli Whitney took

advantage of the new idea, and invented the cotton

gin(short for engine). It rapidly cleaned the seeds from the

short, sticky fibers of upland cotton, the variety that grew

all over the South. The process was simple: a roller carried

raw cotton along wooden slats. Sharp metal teeth thrust

through the slats and quickly pulled the fibers from the

seeds. In 1794, he obtained a patent. Whitney still earned

little because it was simple enough for manufacturers to

copy. Even though the machine made attaining cotton

faster, slaves were still pushed to work harder and produce

more. Blacks under captivity certainly led a harsh, unfair

life. But that is where the white southerners believed blacks

belonged. Northerners knew better. Harriet

Beecher-Stowe, a female, black abolitionist was aware of

these conditions. She wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin, which

was published in 1852, and described the incredible cruelty

and horrors of slavery. Stowe wanted to "write something

that would make the whole nation feel what an accursed

thing slavery is." Her novel became widely popular, and

within a year, readers had bought 300,000 copies.

Wherever it went, it carried it's powerful message of the

evils of slavery. She hoped the novel would bring a

peaceful end to slavery, but instead it seemed to bring the

nation closer to war. Of course, not all Southerners

supported slavery, nor did all Northerners oppose it. Yet

antislavery feelings were on the rise in the North…few

white Southerners went to extremes. Their concern lay in

maintaining the plantation system as it existed. With her

book she was able to gain many Northerners support in the

antislavery race, yet at the same time she outraged the

Southerners. Harriet's novel was one of the many things

that sparred mistrust between the North and South. The

Continues for 6 more pages >>