American Civil War - Essay

Topics: American Civil War, United States, Southern United States Pages: 2 (483 words) Published: April 25, 2012
The Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865 and led to over 618,000 casualties. Its causes can be traced back to tensions that formed early in the nation's history. The most common misconception is that the American civil war started solely over the issue of slavery. There were many other issues that lead the United States to divide such as the importance of state rights, the failure to compromise, sectionalism and finally the election of Abraham Lincoln without any southern votes. Slavery was essential for the southern economy, since the invention of the cotton gin there was a massive increase of cotton production and slavery was the most effective labour system. The South had 80% of the world’s cotton. Hence, since the southern economy relied so heavily on the harvesting of cotton and slavery as the labour the southern states were very against the abolishment of slavery. Slavery was so much associated with the Southern way of life that attacks on slavery were seen as attacks on the South as a whole. Although both sections acknowledged that the North and the South had different economical systems tensions grew about the spread of slavery when the United States expanded westward. During the 1850’s the two sections began to label themselves North or South rather than thinking of themselves as a whole which lead to continually growing hostility on both sides. The South was based on the plantation system while the North was focused on city life. This change in the North meant that society evolved as people of different cultures and classes had to work together. On the other hand, the South continued to hold onto an antiquated social order.

2. States versus federal rights.
Since the time of the Revolution, two camps emerged: those arguing for greater states rights and those arguing that the federal government needed to have more control. The first organized government in the US after the American Revolution was under the Articles of Confederation. The thirteen...
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