H Ow Did The Constitution Set The Precedent For The Civil War?

990 words - 4 pages

Although the Constitution was very effective in its early years, the writers had made the mistake of leaving several important issues open and unresolved such as slavery, ratification, and the conflicts between the North and the South. The Constitution ultimately contributed to the failure of the union because of the issues that were not resolved, and therefore caused controversy in the years leading up to the Civil War. The document was originally formed with the intention of unifying the newly formed United States of America. Since then, the Constitution was effective in protecting the rights and ideals of the people. But later on the Constitution had influenced a split both politically and ideologically between the North and the South. One of the most controversial issues between the North and the South was slavery.The Constitution only addresses how slaves were to be counted in terms of population, and did not fully settle the idea of slavery. As a result of their avoidance of addressing slavery, it [slavery] became one of the main issues that led to civil war. Over the years slavery was a topic of controversy that was boiling up in the eyes of the North and the South. "In fact, they [the Founding Fathers] did not want a balance, except one which kept things as they were, a balance among the dominant forces at that time." What Zinn was trying to say was that the Constitution did not pay much attention to slavery and its "fate". Two writers of the time spoke out against slavery, even though the law made it legal. Ralph Waldo Emerson states in Document D, "An immoral law makes it a man's duty to break it." , meaning that just because something is made a law does not make it right, and unable to be changed. William Lloyd Garrison in Document E states, "The Constitution which subjects them to hopeless bondage is one that we cannot swear to support." Garrison does not support a Constitution which allows people to be treated as property, and believes that the issue of slavery must be settled. Not addressing the problem of slavery resulted in it being much more difficult to deal with after being ignored for so long. The writers of the Constitution can be blamed for not settling the issue of slavery, and leaving it to grow and expand into the largest cause for the division of the union, and ultimately the Civil War. While slavery is cited as the most common cause of the Civil War, it is believed that there were several other factors involved. In other words, though slavery was the major cause it was certainly not the only cause.The ratification of the Constitution was also another process which "exposed the emerging political differences of the new nation" and eventually led to Civil War. During this process there was a conflict between Federalists and Anti-Federalist who supported and rejected different things. When discussing about the federal government that the Constitution (Founding Fathers) decided to have, Federalists "not only believed that...

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