Although the period of 1783-1800 was characterized by the formation of a new republic in the United States, many hints pointed at the idea that the American nation was on the threshold of the Civil War. Using maps and following the empirical information presented in graphs associated with the discussed historical period, it is possible to formulate two reasons which illustrate the fact that the Civil War of 1861-1865 was unavoidable.
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Thus, the development of the Civil War in the second part of the 19th century was triggered by such two reasons as the promotion of the Western settlement started in 1784 because it led to the economic and social problems connected with the accelerated westward expansion; and the political crisis associated with supporting the Federalists and Republicans started with the elections of 1800 because it led to strengthening the political debates in states. Moreover, it is also important to evaluate the Federalists Papers, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence in light of the Civil War looming in the future.
The active territorial expansion was one of the US authorities’ main goals in the 18th-19th centuries. In 1784, Thomas Jefferson proposed to divide the lands located west of the Appalachians into separate states. The issues associated with the ordinance were the statement of the states’ boundaries and aspects of creating governments and regulating the power. The proposed land ordinance was adopted in 1784, and then revised in 1787 (Keene, Cornell, and O’Donnell 140).
Following the map, it is important to focus on the possible disparities in the development of the Northern and Southern states. Jefferson emphasized that the new states were expected to abolish any form of slavery by 1800, and this aspect was important to affect the further debates on slavery during the Civil War (Keene, Cornell, and O’Donnell 140-141).
Several new Southern states located near Georgia and Carolinas were not satisfied with prohibition of slavery because their economies were based on the plantation system. As a result, the principles of Land Ordinance of 1784 proclaimed by Jefferson were discussed by new states as limited factors, and the disparities in opinions could lead to the Civil War.
The second reason to predict the Civil War is the intensification of the political crisis associated with the Federalists and Republicans. The election of 1800 supported the fact that the American nation was in crisis because of being divided between Jefferson, as the supporter of the Republicans’ ideas, and John Adams, as the supporter of the Federalists’ principles (Keene, Cornell, and O’Donnell 184-185).
Following the distribution of the electoral vote presented in the map, it is possible to note that Jefferson was actively supported by people in the Southern and Mid-Atlantic states. Still, differences in political courses promoted by the Republicans and Federalists were significant, and the citizens who supported Federalists began to refer to the Constitution in order to explain the inappropriateness of the Republican’s course.
From this point, “the Republican victory triggered a constitutional crisis that few would have predicted” (Keene, Cornell, and O’Donnell 184). The numbers associated with the electoral vote in different states supported the ideas that something changed in the citizens’ vision of the US political course.
The disparities in the electoral vote were considered as the electoral revolution of 1800 because the visions of many politicians and citizens related to democracy in the United States were associated with the development of the political conflict. Thus, there are obvious reasons to state that the electoral revolution of 1800 could have its consequences later, in 1860, when the new elections directly led to the political and military conflict between parties.
Discussing the coming Civil War, it is important to refer to the validity of such historic sources as the Federalists Papers, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence. The possibility of the war was predicted by such a famous Federalist as Alexander Hamilton who stated in Federalist No. 8 that “War between the States, in the first period of their separate existence, would be accompanied with much greater distresses than it commonly is in those countries where regular military establishments have long obtained” (Hamilton).
The source can be discussed as credible because the authors of the Federalists Papers were the developers of the principles of democracy and political courses in the United States. The following Civil War was an attempt to build the new effective order.
Following the Declaration of Independence, when “it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation” (Keene, Cornell, and O’Donnell a-3).
Furthermore, following the Constitution of the United States, the American people can openly demonstrate their discontent with the policies (Keene, Cornell, and O’Donnell a-9). The ideas presented in the Declaration of Independence are reflected in the US Constitution, and it is impossible to speak about biases in relation to these sources.
Using historical maps, it is possible to provide two reasons that illustrate the Civil War as looming in the future. It is also important to state that the principles stated in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as valid sources became influential to affect the changes in the public’s opinions regarding the democracy in the United States.
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Election of 1800. n.d. JPG file.
Hamilton, Alexander. The Federalists Papers: The Consequences of Hostilities between the States. 2014.
Keene, Jennifer, Saul Cornell, and Edward O’Donnell. Visions of America: A History of the United States. New York, NY: Pearson, 2013. Print.