Reflecting On The Civil War Essay

1112 words - 4 pages

The South, which was known as the Confederate States of America, seceded from the North, which was also known as the Union, for many different reasons. The reason they wanted to succeed was because there was four decades of great sectional conflict between the two. Between the North and South there were deep economic, social, and political differences. The South wanted to become an independent nation. There were many reasons why the South wanted to succeed but the main reason had to do with the North's view on slavery. All of this was basically a different interpretation of the United States Constitution on both sides. In the end all of these disagreements on both sides led to the Civil War, in which the North won.There were a few reasons other then the slavery issue, that the South disagreed on and that persuaded them to succeed from the Union. Basically the North favored a loose interpretation of the United States Constitution. They wanted to grant the federal government increased powers. The South wanted to reserve all undefined powers to the individual states. The North also wanted internal improvements sponsored by the federal government. This was more roads, railroads, and canals. The South, on the other hand, did not want these projects to be done at all. Also the North wanted to develop a tariff. With a high tariff, it protected the Northern manufacturer. It was bad for the South because a high tariff would not let the south trade its cotton for foreign goods. The North also wanted a good banking and currency system and federal aid for shipping and internal improvements. The South felt these were discriminatory and that they favored Northern commercial interests.The main reason for the South's secession was the Slavery issue. The South wanted and needed it and the North did not want it to spread. The South was going to do anything they could to keep it. This was the issue that overshadowed all others. At this time the labor force in the South had about 4 million slaves. These slaves were very valuable to the slaveholding planter class. They were a huge investment to Southerners and if taken away, could mean massive losses to everyone. Slaves were used in the South as helpers in the fields in the cultivation of tobacco, rice, and indigo, as well as many other jobs.When new territories became available in the West the South wanted to expand and use slavery in the newly acquired territories. But the North opposed to this and wanted to stop the extension of slavery into new territories. The North wanted to limit the number of slave states in the Union. But many Southerners felt that a government dominated by free states could endanger existing slaveholdings. The South wanted to protect their states rights. The first evidence of the North's actions came in 1819 when Missouri asked to be admitted to the Union as a slave state. After months of discussion Congress passed the Missouri Compromise of 1820. This compromise was legislative measures...

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