Civil War Causes


Civil War Causes Essay, Research Paper

Causes of the Civil War

Although some historians feel that the Civil War was a

result of political blunders and that the issue of slavery

did not cause the conflict, they ignore the two main causes.

The expansion of slavery, and its entrance into the

political scene.

The North didn’t care about slavery as long as it

stayed in the South. South Carolina seceded, because Abraham

Lincoln, a Republican, was voted into office. The Republican

party threatened the South’s expansion and so Southerners

felt that they had no other choice.

The United States was divided into three groups by the

time the Civil War began: those who believed in the complete

abolition of slavery, those who were against the expansion

of slavery, and those who were pro slavery. The Republican

party was formed in opposition to southern expansion. Their

views were Free Soil, Free Men and Free Labor. The

Republicans were anti-South but they were in not

abolitionists. They believed that slavery was a flawed

system that made the south ineffective and because the

North’s free labor system was superior it must be guarded

from southerners.

When the Republican candidate, Abraham Lincoln was

elected in 1860, the South felt threatened, and because

expansion was vital to the survival of slavery they also

felt their way of life was being threatened. Because slavery

was such an important part of Southern society, the South

felt that they could not survive without it. That’s why they

were not willing to compromise with the north. To own slaves

was a sign of wealth and social prestige and poor farmers

who could not afford slaves had a goal to work for. In the

election of 1860 you can see that Lincoln only secured 4% of

the popular vote in the South, only winning in the upper 5

states, where in the north he received 54% of the popular

vote. This shoes how united the South was in their dislike

for Lincoln. If the South had been more divided they

might have been more willing to compromise.

The central cause of conflict between North and South

was slavery, but it was only in it’s expansion that it

became a reason for war. The entrance of slavery into

politics made it into a public issue, and once the issue

became public the conflict had to be solved.

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