Horton pd. 8
Antebellum US History Test II
There were many long-term causes and short term causes that aided and pushed forward the impending Civil War. The short term causes, however, were the most effective because they happened quickly and completely divided the nation in half. The causes were not only rapid and influential, but they were also all the consequences of the prior, creating an exponential rampage of divergence which led the country straight to Civil War. These short term causes were (in order of first to following): The Kansas Nebraska Act, the rise of the Republican Party, and finally Lincoln’s election. In 1854, Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas created a bill known as the Kansas-Nebraska act which would repeal the Missouri Compromise that banned slavery from spreading into new territories. Following this, a group of Anti-Slavery congressmen decided to refuse this, issuing the Appeal of the Independent Democrats. They stated that southerners were only seeking the repeal the Missouri Compromise in order to expand their “peculiar institution.” When this bill became law, it shattered the Democratic Party’s unity, and also caused politics of the time to completely reorganize as many democrats left the party to join the new party that was emerging, known as the Republican Party. The country was already beginning to divide politically, and the physical divide would be soon to follow. By 1856, the Republican party had become the equally influential alternative to the democratic party. They convinced most northerners that the north was the home of “progress, opportunity, and freedom.” They believed that a free society was necessary for laborers to move up the social stairs to become landowning farmers, which in turn would help them achieve economic independence, which was essential to freedom. In their opinions, slavery caused a never ending cycle of degraded slaves and poor whites, with no hope for escape. They feared that...
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