Why the Confederate States Seceded
ITT Technical Institute Knoxville
This paper sets out to define or shed some light on the possible reasons of the separation of Confederate states from the Union. The North believed the highest power belonged to the federal government while the South believed that each state governed itself, and the question of slavery should be decided by the states not by the federal government. By examining these two points we may be able to get a clear understanding of popular opinions and mindsets that would cause a nation to war against itself. With the election of Abraham Lincoln on November 6, 1860 South Carolina saw the only recourse was to secede from the Union. In doing so, six other states followed suit. On February 4, 1861 these states seceded to form the Confederate States of America. The Threats
South Carolina had threatened secession as early as 1776 when the Continental Congress attempted to tax the colonies. There were several other occasions the South cried for secession but none took the charges seriously. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 gave the North a cause that would join the different anti-slavery groups under one umbrella. This act allowed the people in the territories to decide for themselves whether slavery would be allowed within their borders. The South felt they should be able to share in the newly acquired territories. “The day may come”, charged Governor Thomas Brag of North Carolina, “when our Northern brethren will discover that the Southern States intend to be equals in the Union, or independent out of it!” CITATION Dor05 \l 1033 (Goodwin, 2005) The Tariff of 1828, was a supposed protective tariff that was passed by Congress. To date this was the highest tariff in U.S. history. It enacted a 62% tax on 92% on all imported goods. It was enacted to protect northern industries, which was driving northern industries out of business. Dr....
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