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Causes of Civil War in America Research Paper


The source of Civil War in America could have resulted from various reasons. For instance, slavery in the U.S greatly triggered the eruption of Civil War in America. It started in Virginia as early as 1619. Before the Civil War, the conflict between the northern and southern American States revolved around the issue of slavery.

The southern politicians managed to maintain the control of the federal government throughout the first half of the 19th century by assuring the southerners to defend the abolition of the slavery in those states that supported the use of slave labor in the American cotton plantations.

Despite the fact that most presidents from the United States of America came from the south, the southern politicians were generally concerned about maintaining a balance of power within the senate. The balance was important to them to maintain the use of slave labor.

However, the challenge to maintain a balance between those states that supported the liberty of slaves as well as those that supported slavery heightened as more states were included into the union. In 1820, Maine joined the union as a free state, while Missouri joined the union as a slave trade.

The balance between those states that supported the use of slave labor in American plantations and those that opposed it was compromised in 1850 when the union allowed California to join it as a free state in exchange of laws that were meant to enforce slavery. The balance was further worsened when Minnesota and Oregon states that supported liberty of slaves joined the union later on (Hickman 4).

The diverse views that existed between the northern and southern states about slavery symbolized the philosophical as well as economical differences that existed between the northern and southern states.

Whereas the northern states believed in industrialization, infrastructural growth, influx of Europeans immigrations, high birth rates as well as urbanization, the southern states embraced agrarian plantations economy that was sparsely populated.

The high boost in northern population together with the incorporation of more free states in the union increased the chances of an election of a northern president who was anti-slavery (Hickman 4).

There was a lot of anxiety in the elections held on1860 which resulted from the division of the democrats. The absence of a candidate with a national appeal signaled an impending change. Abraham Lincoln was the candidate who was vying for the presidency as a republican, while Stephen Douglas was for the northern Democrats.

The southerners nominated John C.Breckinridge and the Border States formed a new party referred to as the Constitutional party and nominated John C. Bell as their own candidate. After the elections Abraham Lincoln was declared the winner of the north, while Breckinridge won in the south, Bell the winner of the Border States, while Douglas won the Missouri and New Jersey states.

Because of the high population that existed in the northern states as a result of their well formulated policies that encouraged urbanization, high birth rate as well as high influx of European immigrations, Abraham Lincoln managed to lead all the candidates in votes. The victory of Lincoln brought a lot of apprehension in the union since he was anti-slavery.

The southerners had always feared any probability of the union government being under the control of anti-slavery. The victory of Abraham Lincoln resulted to secession of those states that supported slavery from the union. Those states that declared a downturn from the union included states such as Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana as well as Georgia (Kidport.com par.3).

The splitting of the union resulted to an eruption of a Civil War in America. It is believed to be the bitterest conflict that has ever occurred in the United States of America. The cause of the Civil War in the United States of America was highly attributed to the election of Abraham Lincoln and in particular as a result of the significant lifestyle difference that existed between the northern and the southern states.

The northern states of America were heavily industrialized with factories and manufacturing was their main occupation. Conversely, the southern states relied heavily on agriculture. They had established big cotton plantations that demanded large number of workers to provide labor when planting as well as while harvesting the cotton (Hickman 5).

While slave trade was declared illegal as early as 1800, the slaves that were working on American cotton plantations were not freed. The Northern states pushed for complete abolishment of slavery since they did not require slaves to work in their industries.

The northern states were accommodative and had assimilated the concept of industrialization from the European nations as well as from those Europeans who had migrated in the states. On the other hand, the southerners were conservative and greatly opposed the influx immigration of the Europeans in their states.

Their rigidity and inability to accommodate new people and new ideas developed the southerners into conservative people who lacked a vision of the impending change that was sure to come in the near future. Therefore, the southerners can be highly blamed to be the cause of Civil War in America (Enotes.com par.5).

The southern states continued to use slaves to provide free and compulsory labor in their plantations despite the abolition of slavery as early as 1800. They feared that the ban of slave labor will result to severe economic impacts on them, since they greatly relied on slaves to provide labor in their plantations. On the other hand, the southerners should have accepted the abolition of slave trade early enough to avoid such incidents.

They should have been aware that the use of free and compulsory labor could not last forever. In addition, they had enough time to strategize on how to adapt alternative methods to provide labor in their plantations.

Sixty years after the abolition of slavery was enough time for the southerners to transform their farming methodologies. For instance, they could have negotiated with the slaves on how to compensate them after working in their farms, instead of pressurizing them to work in their plantations for free. The election of Abraham Lincoln meant doom to the southerners. This was because he was opposed to the concept of slavery.

Thus, that is the reason that prompted those states that supported slave trade to opt to break away from supporting him. After receding, they formed the Confederate States of America. Subsequently, this resulted to the eruption of the civil war that lasted for approximately 4 years. The War consisted of more than 50 main battles and over 5000 minor combats. The battles resulted to over 600,000 deaths.

Nevertheless, the union soldiers were more powerful and possessed more resources. For this reason, they eventually defeated the Confederate soldiers. On April 9, 1865 General Lee who was the commander leading the Confederate troops surrendered and thus the war came to an end. Five days after the end of the War, a treaty was signed and President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by southerner sympathizers (Hoemann par. 5).

Works Cited

Enotes.com. “U.S. Civil War.” 2011. Web.

Hickman, Kennedy. “American Civil War: Causes.” 2011.Web.

Hoemann, George. “American Civil War.” 2011. Web.

Kidport.com. “” 2011. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Causes of Civil War in America." August 26, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/causes-of-civil-war-in-america/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Causes of Civil War in America." August 26, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/causes-of-civil-war-in-america/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Causes of Civil War in America'. 26 August.

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