The Civil War Causes. Essay

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. Its purpose was to replace the Articles of Confederation and solve its problems and more importantly to bring the states together under a single document creating a stronger union of all the states. There was one problem though: there were a few fundamental issues that the framers could not agree on. These issues included slavery and state vs. federal power. Since the framers could not agree they compromised, leaving these issues unresolved. The Union was formed with the Constitution, which was supposed to unite the states but instead embodied its major divisions. With conflicting ideas about the provisions in the Constitution related to the issues of slavery and the power of states' governments vs. the national government the union split into rivaling sections ultimately leading to the Civil War.The debate over slavery and the provisions relating to it in the Constitution was a heated one at the Constitutional Convention. The issues of the slave's rights as either men or the property of their owners, the future of slavery in new territories, and the abolition of slavery and emancipation of slaves were never solved but rather a compromise made. The compromise was in return for the South's support for the ratification of the Constitution these provisions would be included in the Constitution: the Three-fifths Clause, the Fugitive Slave Law, and setting the date of 1808 for when the slave trade could be first ended. Anti-Slavery supporters reluctantly accepted the compromise in hope that the Constitution would be successful in its goal of unifying the states. Anti-Slavery advocates also were optimistic that after the formation of the union slavery would die out naturally and it would no longer be an issue. Slavery however did not die out but instead grew, because it was a free source of labor that aided the south in the harvesting and processing of inexpensive resources. As slavery in the South grew it became a more prominent issue in politics dividing the nation.The Fugitive Slave Act in the Constitution supported in the South and denounced in the North divided the union over the issue of runaway slaves. In the North, many states passed personal liberty laws nullifying the Fugitive Slave Act or making it impossible for it to carry out its duties. Northerners, like the writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, saw the law as immoral and would not support it. The North immediately became the opponent of the South over this issue making it their duty to break the immoral law of the Constitution. They fought by warning all blacks of...

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