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Southern Slavery And The American Civil War

1801 words - 7 pages

On September 17, 2011 thousands of protesters filled Zuccotti Park in front of Wall Street in New York City. Armed with peaceful protests and picket signs these protesters demanded change in the American system of equality. They fought for the cause they believe in: no one should be excessively wealthier than another person, and every American should have equal economic opportunity. This movement spread throughout the country with people captivated by the exuberance that fills these protests. This same passion that continues to fill these protesters once filled every American. However, in this instance Americans had enthusiastic, but opposing viewpoints about slavery. The North believed everything about slavery was morally wrong and that having slaves went against the American ideal of freedom. Southerners believed in their guaranteed right of property protection, and believed that the federal government taking away slavery opposed the democracy that America is also based on. When slavery re-emerged as a topic that needed to be settled, the political field was overcome by the chaos of this emotional subject. Slavery’s divisive influence over the political aspects of American society, mainly political parties, a Supreme Court decision, and expansion, severed the country in two when each side could no longer compromise, causing the Civil War.
In the pre-Civil War era, political parties became identifying characteristics of Americans, and each party’s opposing viewpoint on slavery and a state’s rights to it divided the country into two perpetually arguing sections and laid groundwork for the Civil War. Before slavery had even emerged as a political issue, a Massachusetts Whig commented that if slavery was introduced into politics it would permanently divide national parties saying, “Are not matters coming to such an issue as will inevitably alienate one portion from the other?” This Whig was not even speaking to the higher divide between political parties, but the arguments that would surface within parties, but he predicted the exact outcome slavery’s presence in politics would have between different parties and between members of the same parties. Slavery caused immense hostility in the political arena, and at a time when house majority and party domination captivated the nation, it is no wonder slavery caused such a rift in America. Shortly after slavery assumed its place as the supreme topic in American politics, radicals from both sides surfaced, bringing with them fiery speeches and displays of ferocious emotions and fierce demonstrations that hinted at the more violent actions to come. Abolitionists, like William Lloyd Garrison even went as far as to burn the Constitution because it condoned slavery, and southern Democrats pleaded for what they believed was a God-given right to slavery. Even if the average American was not as vehement in their beliefs, there was a definite sense of rivalry and opposition between all Republicans and...

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