The American Civil War
Ever since the beginning of America there have been consequential events that led to the
American Civil War. Throughout history, there has been much controversy over whether
this war was or was not unavoidable. Upon looking back into the chronicles of history and
the longtime conflict between the North and the South, one can see that the American
Civil War was undeniably inevitable.
One major contributor of aggravation between North and South was the belief in Manifest
Destiny. In 1844, Texas was a leading issue in the presidential campaign. The foes of
expansion opposed annexation, while southerners cried "Texas or Disunion." Many
"conscience Whigs" feared that Texas in the Union would add to the slave power.
Therefore, President Tyler arranged for annexation by a joint resolution.
After the war with Mexico, the United States acquired a huge expanse of land. This raised
the question of whether slavery should be extended into the territories. Northern
antislaveryites strongly supported the Wilmot Proviso, which flatly prohibited slavery in
any territory acquired in the Mexican War. Southern senators blocked the passage of this
proviso continuously. This debate split national politics along North-South sectional lines.
The second major area that was influential in leading up to the Civil War was social reform.
The 2nd Great Awakening sparked a crusade to abolish slavery. Charles Grandison Finney
was a prominent minister that encouraged revivalist activity and abolitionism. By 1857,
the Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians had split into northern and southern sects over
the issue of slavery.
In 1831, William Lloyd Garrison published the first issue of his militantly antislavery
newspaper, The Liberator. Consequently, in 1835, the Washington government ordered
southern postmasters to destroy all abolitionist material. This started the controversy over
free speech in the United States.
Sectional tensions were further strained in 1852 when Harriet Beecher Stowe published
Uncle Tom's Cabin. This book awakened the North to the wickedness of slavery and gained
the support of the working classes in England and France. Hinton R. Helper's book, The
Impending Crisis of the South, attempted to prove that indirectly the nonslaveholding
whites suffered the most from slavery.
The third major field of discontent between the North and South was politics. Generally
speaking, the North supported a strong, central federal...