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The American Civil War Essay

1724 words - 7 pages

The American Civil War, also known as the State’s War, was a conflict that arose mostly from the issue of slavery, but deep down was due to economic differences between the North and the South. The South seceded from the North and created their own self-government due to their belief in the lack of state’s rights versus the federal government and what they saw as a weakness in the Articles of Confederation. While the Confederacy of the United States depended on slave labor for their economy in regards to plantation farming of cotton, tobacco and rice, the Union, whom represented the United States of America, was a booming manufacturing industry due to railroads and machinery that allowed them to easily surpass the output of the South’s production. The expansion of the country as a whole before the start of the war was also a significant reason for the clashing. With the Louisiana Purchase and the Mexican War, abolitionists argued vehemently on any new state being a free state similar to the territories in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and the pro-slavery states passed a bill in response for popular sovereignty. So while slavery was a significant issue, it became entwined with the argument of states’ rights and the power of the federal government. While the Civil War ended up being one of the bloodiest wars casualties wise, the United States of America actually came out a much stronger and unified country as a result.
Thomas Jefferson was an advocate for an “empire of liberty”, which stressed the westward expansion of the United States rather more east wards towards Europe. As president, Jefferson negotiated peacefully with France for the property of Louisiana with what’s called the Louisiana Purchase and doubled the size of the country. The purchase caused an outrage because Jefferson was the most well known supporter of the Constitution’s ability to limit the power of the federal government, and the Constitution said nothing about purchasing territory from a foreign country. Overall, while he acknowledged that he had indeed “Acted beyond the constitution” (Foner, E.), believed that he had ensured an “empire of liberty” for the new areas that would be brought in as equal states. Had he not made the purchase, he feared a war between the United States and France. What he didn’t anticipate with this purchase, however, was the conflict that would ensue between the North and the South over new states being admitted into the union.
The treaty for the Louisiana Purchase promised that “the rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens” (Foner, E.) would remain intact while under American rule. In reality, free blacks suffered more under the legislation in the South due to slave codes that prohibited them from ever becoming equal. The South became a booming agricultural region that relied on slavery for free labor to run the local plantations for cotton and tobacco. This was mostly due to the invention of the cotton gin, which gave the South a...

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