Causes of the Civil War

Topics: American Civil War, Slavery in the United States, Southern United States Pages: 3 (940 words) Published: March 21, 2001

In 1860, the world's greatest nation was locked in Civil War. The war divided the country between the North and South. There were many factors that caused this war, but the main ones were the different interpretations of the Constitution by the North and South, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the arrival of Lincoln in office. These factors were very crucial in the bringing upon of the destruction of the Union. They caused immediate war. In 1791, the tenth amendment was added to the Constitution. The tenth amendment states that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." (Bailey 16) This amendment was the basis in which the South kept slavery. The states believed that since nothing was written in the Constitution about who should decide about the slavery issue, that therefore the states had the power to decide. On the other hand, the North didn't feel such a issue was part of states' rights. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the nation; other southern states followed after, thus causing the Civil War. After South Carolina adopted an Ordinance of Secession, the South Carolina convention issued a "Declaration of Causes of Secession"In it, it stated:

"By this Constitution certain duties were imposed upon
the several states, and the exercise of certain of their powers were restrained.....But an amendment was added, which declared the powers not delegated.....are preserved to the states.....We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused fulfill their constitutional obligations....Thus the constitutional compact has been deliberately broken.....and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation." (Stampp, 44) South Carolina felt strongly that they should be allowed slavery by the Constitution, the North disagreed. One of the state's reasons for...

Cited: Bailey, Thomas A., and Kennedy, David M. The American Pageant.
Lexington, Mass.: D.C. Heath and Company, 1994.
Dickey, Norman H. ed. Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia. Vol. 23. Funk and
Wagnalls L.P., 1990
Stampp, Kenneth M., The Causes of the Civil War. , NY, NY:Simon & Schuster,
Inc., 1974.
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