Dbq; Slavery, Apush

Topics: Compromise of 1850, Slavery in the United States, American Civil War Pages: 2 (624 words) Published: May 12, 2013
Question: Some historians argue that slavery was the primary cause of the American Civil War. Utilizing the documents and your knowledge of the period 1846-1860, explain to what extent you believe this statement to be valid.

Slavery started in America when the colonist traded rum and molasses with Africa in exchange for slaves, this was part of the triangular trading system. From there on many slaves were brought from Africa, their journey is known as the “Middle Passage” which was a horrific journey because half of the slaves died on the ships. Since then there has been endless debate over the causation of the American Civil War. Many different types of historians have argued for and against slavery being the main cause. A historian named Elbert B. Smith wrote, "Slavery worked itself into a constitutional dilemma and became a symbol of disunion which must be destroyed for the salvation of America itself". I myself do believe that slavery was the main cause of the Civil War. As mentioned in Document A, Senator John C. Calhoun says in his speech, “I have, Senators, believed from the first that the agitation of the subject of slavery would, if not prevented by some timely and effective measure, end in disunion.” Since Senator Calhoun was pro slavery, he argue that slavery was the cause for the North and the South to separate, as mentioned in the quote, and have conflicts with each other.

Document B talks about the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 which states that any runaway slave should be catched and returned to their owner. This act also stated that any federal marshal or public official that refused to arrest a runaway slave would be fined and anyone who helped a runaway slave would be sentenced to jail. This document also talks about the Kansas-Nebraska Bill which repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and allowed people in the territories of Kansas and Nebraska to decide for themselves whether or not to allow slavery within their border(popular sovereignty)...
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