Polarization Essay

1280 words - 6 pages

The North and the South were very different during the antebellum period. For starters, the northern economy boomed because of their industrialization and textiles, while the southern economy boomed off of cash crops like cotton. These cash crops were produced by slaves who were forced to work on southern plantations. Many white citizens in the North cared little about slavery, since this institution was depended on more in the South than North. However, this changed when the South’s Cotton Kingdom grew. This required the need for more land, which motivated Southerners to expand their plantations west. This movement was called Westward Expansion. The expansion attracted the ...view middle of the document...

As the North gained more and more western territory through popular sovereignty, the south began to get scared. They believed they were losing power in the Senate and House of Representatives. This loss of power foreshadowed the abolishment of slavery, which the South wanted to avoid. This is why they were thinking about secession, which meant the South wanted to break away from the Union. Similarly, the Kansas-Nebraska Act led to Bleeding Kansas, which was another event that made the Civil War inevitable. During Bleeding Kansas, citizens from the North and South, who had moved westward to Kansas, began to violently fight and argue about the issue of slavery. The Northerners wanted the Southerners to leave the territory, and the Southerners wanted the Northerners to leave. Whoever had more supporters in Kansas would win the vote on slavery, and the future of the territory would be in their favor. In the article, “Exciting News from Kansas” from the Louisville Journal, the writer said, “Three Abolitionist armed with Sharpe’s rifles; went to the claim of Mr. Coleman, and peremptorily ordered him to leave.” The North and South clearly began to hate each other over their beliefs, which they expressed through violence. One reason, other than having different beliefs than one another, why the North and south hated each other was on the issue of power. Because power has been balanced for quite a while now, both the North and South are scared that one may gather more territory and dominate the government. This would ultimately decide how the government is run, and whether or not there would be slavery. During this time, the south was like the 13 colonies because they both believed that they had less power in their government. The 13 colonies let out their anger by declaring independence from the British, while the South, like stated before, tried to break away from the Union. Both of these conflicts lead to a bloody and deadly war. The North and the South grew apart after the Kansas-Nebraska act, and the fall out that happened during Bleeding Kansas foreshadowed the Civil War.
The Dred Scott Cause was another event that polarized the nation, and eventually leads to the Civil War. The North did not have slavery because some believed that is was morally wrong, while others thought that the institution was not needed since the Northern economy was mostly industrial. Thus, Northerners were furious when the Supreme Court allowed Southerners to bring their property, slaves, to the North. This was decided in the Scott v Sanford case in 1857. In an article from the “Chicago Tribune”, the author wrote,” To say or suppose, that a Free People can respect or will obey a decision so fraught with disastrous consequences to the people and their Liberties, is to dream...

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