Causes of American civil war

Topics: Slavery in the United States, American Civil War, Slavery Pages: 12 (3950 words) Published: April 22, 2014

“Slavery was a direct cause of the South’s relative backwardness” Slavery was the moral issue of the 19th century which divided the political leaders but Americans had very little interests in slaves and slavery

Slavery was no matter that could be readily accommodated within the existing two party system; it created moral and ideological divisions went far too deep”
Without slavery, the problems could probably have been worked out by the ordinary give-and-take of politics; with slavery, they became insoluble
Even though there were serious differences between the sections, all of them except slavery could have been settled through the democratic process. Slavery poisoned the whole situation
Whitney’s Cotton Gin 1793
o Eli Whitney invented a machine to remove the seeds of raw cotton o It was good for sea-island cotton and short-staple cotton
By 1860 cotton exports were worth $190 million 57% of America exports The Act of Congress 1808 prohibited foreign slave trade
Value of slaves increased after the slave trade was declared illegal Many south had no desire to support the slavery system as many were not slaveholders Slavery was a reminder that there was white supremacy in the south which formed its peculiar institution (part of the Southern way of life) “Simply because the colour of a man's skin is white, they possessed white supremacy over the negroes” = “The non-slave-owning majority of Southern whites were willing to follow the lead of the plantation aristocracy down the path of secession” Attacks on slavery were seen as attacks on the South as a whole Senator Robert Toombs of Georgia predicted a vast extension of slavery and said that he would one day auction slaves himself In Alabama the eloquent William Lowndes Yancey argued hotly that the south would never find happiness except by leaving the Union and settling up an independent nation

Plantations grew to as slavery expanded
It changed from growing grains,rice and tobacco to large amounts of cotton and sugar cane due to the high demands from overseas mainly Britain
South enormous quantities of cotton could be raised cheaply with slave labour Slavery was the backbone of the Southern economy it represented as much as $3 million South became a cotton empire, nearly 4 billion slaves employed, and slavery looked like an absolutely essential element in Southern prosperity

The South Drew away from the union thinking that Lincoln was going to abolish slavery without compensating the slaveholders The republicans formally created in 1854 was a group of abolitionists, free soilers and former Whigs and northern democrats who were concerned about the spread of slavery and fear of westward expansion would affect the capitalist system (D.Murphy) Hinton Rowan helpers book stated that slavery caused suffering to small farmers Douglas stated that slavery could not live a Day unless it were supported by protective local legislation



To please the South, that national government must keep its hands off as many things as possible; for many years Southerners had feared that if the North ever won control in Washington it would pass legislation ruinous to Southern interests North began to dominate in the House of Representatives

There was conflict between wanting federalism (central governing) and state rights (having own rights) Southerners believed, there would be legislation- a stiff high-tariff law, for instance- that would ruin the South. More and more, they developed the theory of states’ rights as a matter of self-protection First main state right conflict was of the Alien and Sedition Acts 1798 o Federal president had power over immigrants from nations the US was at war with, they can forbade people who didn’t follow...
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