Cause of the Civil War

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History 11
12/17/2006

The root causes and precipitating events that led to the Civil War (1861-1865)

The Civil War between northern and southern states was a consequence of contradictions of two social systems inside the country. At the basis of these contradictions was a question of slavery, completely determining economic and political interests of South. North strived to enforce Federal government power to protect their own economic stability. As a result the South wanted a separation and the North was determined to keep the country unified. Therefore, besides slavery as a main root cause of the conflict, there were other causes as economic differences and political events which led to the Civil War. The independence from England and adoption of Constitution in 1789 were great steps for development of the United States. At the end of 1700’s the industry began to grow and along with new technological achievements the United States experienced industrial revolution. This happened on the North. The southern states remained using archaic form of slave exploitation and plantation system. At the Constitutional Convention the South had to agree to three-fifths compromise, when 5 slaves counted as 3 free men toward representation in Congress. This was probably the only case when Southern representatives mentioned that even though slaves are property they were human beings. Such “a sacrifice” ensured legal protection of slavery in the Constitution. The South felt important to defend itself on the political arena in order to protect their economic status quo. In the beginning of 1800’s when movement to the West became massive there were two streams of colonization – northern and southern. Despite the fact that both systems – slavery and free capitalism – existed within one country, the laws of northern states forbade slavery. Their interest in Congress differed as well. Each side tried to ensure that the Union consisted of equal quantity of states...
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