Explanations for Why the Civil War Started
All though the most deadly war in American history is thought to have been fought over slavery, the great Civil War was really a conflict of many differences. The North and South had many differences not only with slavery, but voting equality, different economic resources, and their own ideals on the powers of the federal government. The economy was by far the biggest issue that caused the union to break apart, but moral issues certainly had a large impact on the beliefs of northerners and slavery. These differences came to a head when abolitionist president Abraham Lincoln was elected into office. The culmination of these three differences instigated the beginning of the Civil War. With the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney, farmers could now sell as much cotton as they could produce. The southern states became the world leader in the exporting of cotton. Although the cotton gin made the production of usable cotton much easier, in effect it created a one crop economy. Before the Civil War the south had only one predominant industry and that was agriculture; an entire economy riding on the success of one crop. I find the disparity from the north interesting, considering the northern textile factories were buying the majority of the cotton.
With manifest destiny in full effect, Americans were moving westward in pursuit of their own land and the American Dream. As states began to join the union, some wanted slavery and others did not. Many of the northerners feared a growing slavery population and the ever-growing distaste of the life slaves were forced to live. Regardless, all of the states recognized the importance of whether a state was free or slave, and the impact it would have on legislation. Westward expansion had to be halted until congress could figure out what to do with slaves and voting representation. The Missouri Compromise composed by Henry Clay was simply a brief solution to...
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