Causes Of The American Civil War

2192 words - 9 pages

"War is the unfolding of miscalculations." - Barbara Tuchman

Lasting from 1861 to 1865, the Civil War is considered the bloodiest war in American history. However, the Civil War had seemingly been a long time coming. There were many events that took place within the fifteen years leading up to the Civil War that foreshadowed the eventual secession of seven “cotton states” from the Union. The end of the Mexican-American War in 1848, the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1852, the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, the Dred Scott Decision of 1857, John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859, and the outcome of the Presidential Election of 1860 all helped contribute to southern secession and the start of the Civil War; they each caused conditions that either strengthened the abolitionist cause, strengthened the pro-slavery cause, or strengthened both causes respectively; although the conditions made many Southerners want to leave the United States, the Northerners were adamant on going to war to preserve the Union.
After winning the Mexican-American War in 1848, the United States gained the western territories, which included modern-day California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, as well as parts of Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma. However, controversial topics, that helped cause the Civil War, arouse with the addition of these new territories. Primarily, the people of the United States wanted to know whether the new territories would be admitted as free states or slave states. In order to avoid fighting between the slave states of the South and the free states of the North, Henry Clay (Whig) and Stephen Douglas (Democrat) drafted the Compromise of 1850. Although the compromise was created to stop conflict between the free states and the slave states, it seemed to have caused more problems for the nation—it made it more likely that the nation would fight a war.
Although the allotted provisions of the Compromise of 1850 created a sense of relief between the South and the North, it was also met with dismay. By 1848, the Senate of the United States was divided equally—fifteen free states and fifteen slave states; therefore, if the new territories entered as free or slave states, the balance of power would be tipped to either the former or the latter. The Compromise was comprised of five bills. The first stated that California would enter the nation as a free state; the second abolished the slave trade (but not slavery) in Washington, D.C; the third allowed the residents of the Territories of Utah and New Mexico to choose whether or not they would enter the nation as a free or slave state (known as popular sovereignty); the fourth bill passed the Fugitive Slave Act; the fifth bill reduced the size of Texas (gave up much of its western land), which was given compensation as to relieve their debt. The fourth bill was the most controversial, as well as the most impactful. The Fugitive Slave Act stated that all federal...

Find Another Essay On Causes of The American Civil War

Causes of American Civil War. Essay

1195 words - 5 pages The American Civil War: Causes and ConsequenceBy ak_69The American Civil War was a combination of four decades of intense social conflict and reflected economic, social and political differences between the Northern and the Southern states. Through the four years of bitter conflict and sacrifice, America would emerge a...

Causes of The Outbreak of the American Civil War

1770 words - 7 pages Causes of The Outbreak of the American Civil War The deep south had strong opinions on issues on which the south had other feeling on, one of the main issues was that of slavery. The north had an obvious disagreement with the south over the issue of slavery, this started at the very beginning of the union with the south saying that slaves had been used for years in ancient Greece and Rome. Southerners felt that it was a...

The American civil war: causes and conflicts

1602 words - 6 pages The American Civil War, which began in 1861 to 1865, has gone down in history as the one of the most significant events to have ever occurred in the United States of America, thus far. At that time, questions had arose wondering how the United States ever got so close to hitting rock bottom, especially being that it was a conflict within the country itself. Hostility steadily grew through the years dividing the nation further and further, and...

The American Civil War: Causes and Effects

1857 words - 7 pages Although many believed the American Civil War was fought to end slavery, that wasn't the real reason, at least not at the beginning. Instead, it was fought for an even greater reason: to preserve the Union. But before getting into the actual Civil War, a few issues have to be revised. First and foremost there are the reasons for why it came to be, what exactly fueled it, and what precisely set the whole thing into motion. But for that however,...

Causes of the Civil War

684 words - 3 pages A major conflict in the United States’ history is the American Civil War. Many causes led to the Civil War. This all happened around the mid 1800s. It was a conflict between the Northern and Southern states. Both sides had their own view on slavery, and their separate views caused contentions between the two. Both had different views on whether to expand or stop slavery growth to the West, or have slavery at all. The biggest cause was a social...

Causes of the Civil War

943 words - 4 pages Cause of the Civil WarWhen it comes to the question of why the Civil War was caused, severaltheoretical answers arise. One common theory is that the Civil War resultedbecause the North and South became two different societies, with different culturalnorms. From my perspective, this is the main fact that sparked the Civil War.One critical difference between the North and South was the view on slavery. While...

Causes of the Civil War

740 words - 3 pages In 1861, most of the nation's thirty-one million people lived in peace on farms and in small towns. Later on, they found this peace and trust in each other to be false, because the summer of 1861 brought on the most disturbing war America has ever faced, The Civil War. The Civil War was fought in more than 10,000 places, from New Mexico, to Vermont. Over three million Americans fought in this war, and nearly 600 thousand men, 2 percent of...

Causes of the Civil War - 920 words

920 words - 4 pages Civil War was a war fought within the United States of America between the North (Union) and the South (Confederacy) starting from 1861 and ending in 1865. This war was one of the most destructive events in American history, costing more than 600,000 lives. It was thought to be one that helped shape the character of the American individual today. This unfortunate...

Causes of the Civil War

1344 words - 5 pages Causes of the Civil War Although some historians feel that the Civil War was a result of political blunders and that the issue of slavery did not cause the conflict, they ignore the two main causes. The expansion of slavery, and its entrance into the political scene. The North didn't care about slavery as long as it stayed in the South. South Carolina seceded, because Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, was voted into office. The...

Causes of the Civil War - 539 words

539 words - 2 pages The Civil War is caused by at least four main reasons between differences in the North and the South- constitutional disputes (federal versus states’ rights), economic differences between the industrializing North and the agricultural South, political extremism on both sides, and slavery. Ah, slavery, the growing moral issue in the North versus the defensive reason in the South. Slavery, the underlying issue of all conflicts and...

The Civil War-Causes.

2113 words - 8 pages Question- How valid is this statement? By the 1850's the Constitution, originally framed as an instrument of national unity, had become a source of sectional discord and tension and ultimately contributed to the failure of the union it had created. 1987 AP US History DBQ Essay.In 1782 Americans won their independence from Britain in the American Revolution. After the colonies won their independence, Americans created the Constitution....

Similar Essays

Causes Of The American Civil War

2186 words - 9 pages ""¦ but one of them would make a war rather than let the nation survive and the other would rather accept war rather than let it perish and the war came."� -Abraham Lincoln March 4, 1865 What was the most significant cause of the American Civil War? Historians still debate this complex issue. While many theories exist, three main causes have...

Causes of the American Civil War

1866 words - 7 pages Causes of the American Civil War The American Civil War was a military conflict between the United States of America (the Union), and 11 secessionist Southern states, organized as the Confederate States of America (the Confederacy). It was the culmination of four decades of intense sectional conflict and it reflected deep-seated economic, social, and political differences between the North and the South. One of the major causes of the...

Causes of the American Civil War

1590 words - 6 pages Causes of the American Civil War From the time America was formed until 1860, America was a nation divided. They fought in the American Revolution in order to become a free country from Britain’s control and you would think that this war would soon bring the new country together in an unprecedented fashion. In fact, it may have divided them more than the Revolution had brought them together. This division was a result of location and...

Causes of the American Civil War

1578 words - 6 pages The Civil War was caused by a myriad of conflicting pressures, principles, and prejudices, fueled by sectional differences and pride, and set into motion by a most unlikely set of political events. From the colonial period in America where the institution of slavery began, through the period of the revolution whereby blood was shed to validate the notion that all men were created equal (yet slavery existed in all thirteen colonies), to the era of...