There were many problems, events, and situations that led to the Civil War. One of the major reasons for the outbreak of the war was sectionalism. Once the United States was split, many of the country's fundamental issues were disputed, with slavery being at the top of the list. Some of the other major issues in dispute were representation, tariffs, and states' rights. Sectionalism is defined as, the sharp socio-economic differences that divided the Northern and the Southern states in the U.S.
The most important difference between the north and south was the issue of slavery. The South was primarily agricultural, and the southern economy was based upon the existence of large family farms known as plantations. The plantation economy relied on cheap labor in the form of slaves to produce tobacco and cotton. Farmers on the plantation did not do the work themselves; they needed slaves in order to make the largest amount of money possible. The North, however, was primarily industrial in nature. The North believed that all men should be able to work and support themselves and their families, regardless of color. They also felt that if a man were happy doing his job, then he would be more productive. Therefore, both he and the business would make more money. Slavery was abolished in the North when Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. This proclamation upset the southern states and they decided to sever their ties with the rest of the country. In the textbook it says, "Northerners saw the South as a slave power, determined to foist the slave system on free labor throughout the land. Southerners saw the North as full of black republicanism, determined to destroy their way of life" (Nash 424).
The case Dred Scott v. Sanford was another hot political issue. Dred Scott and his wife were taken to a free state by their master, and the ruling on this case stated that Scott was still legally bound to his master and must remain a slave. This...
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