Why the War Came: the Sectional Struggle over Slavery in the Territories - David Herbert Summary

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Why the War Came: The Sectional Struggle over Slavery in the Territories – David Herbert Donald

Why the War Came: The Sectional Struggle over Slavery in the Territories Reduction

In “Why the War Came: The Sectional Struggle over Slavery in the Territories” written by David Herbert Donald, the ultimate cause for the Civil War was the disagreement between the North and the South about slavery and if the new Western states being added should be free or slave states. The main belief was that slavery must expand or perish to keep the country completely united.

The Missouri Compromise first said that slave states must stay underneath the Missouri Southern borderline. Later, the Kansas-Nebraska Act designed by Stephen Douglas completely overturned the Missouri Compromise and said a Slave or Free State is determined by popular sovereignty of the state. Courts would later go on to find this unconstitutional and disallow it. Northerners did not like the idea of slavery spreading through the West; the North and South soon became enemies. Their hatred for one another came to such a point that in any controversy between the two it was a majority from the North versus a unified South, almost like an un-united country.

The Brooks-Sumner Affair was also a big deal because it showed the tension between the North and South and that a war was almost inevitable.
Historians have varying views on the need for expansion of slavery. Some say the land was becoming depleted and needed to be expanded while others say it was already profitable where it was and there was no need for expansion. Either way, the sides disagreed with each other and would lead to the Civil War.
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