The American Civil War: Causes And Effects

1857 words - 7 pages

Although many believed the American Civil War was fought to end slavery, that wasn't the real reason, at least not at the beginning. Instead, it was fought for an even greater reason: to preserve the Union. But before getting into the actual Civil War, a few issues have to be revised. First and foremost there are the reasons for why it came to be, what exactly fueled it, and what precisely set the whole thing into motion. But for that however, a little background on the "slavery issue" must be given.As most people know, the root of the problem came directly upon slavery. The whole issue was filled with much controversy. It started back in America's early colonial days. Although slave-owning had become quite expensive and even though Congress had tried to abolish it, slavery was still very popular. With the invention of the cotton gin, slavery was instilled more than ever. Yes it's true the South was becoming economically very strong, but if it hadn't been for the slave's laboring in the fields, the South would have never become as prosperous as it got to be.That was the whole deal. In other words, it wasn't slavery as it is that was being dealt with. It was all about the power and the wealth. When people talked about slavery they didn't see it as something evil in the eyes of God or a contradiction to the rights of men. Instead they saw it as money, money, money. So at least to the Southerner, it was an issue that dealt with money and power, not with the equalities of all men. Sadly to say, slaves were no longer seen as humans but objects or better yet, as money-making machines.The need to protect this "institution" arose as the North's power and dominance grew. There came a point when the South felt it no longer held a voice in the government. Jefferson Davis, a Senator from Mississippi, summed it all up with his argument, "It is not humanity that influences you... it is that you may have a majority in the Congress of the United States and convert the Government into an engine of the Northern aggrandizement... you want by an unjust system of legislation to promote the industry of the United States at the expense of the people of the South." They were a short step from disintegrating from the Union. Any little move could trigger the unthinkable.It all came to an end in the presidential elections of 1860. Abraham Lincoln had been placed as the Republican Party's nominee. All realized he was a moderate Republican. He very well knew the Constitution did not allow the Federal Government from taking action against slavery where it already existed. That wouldn't stop him however of keeping it from dispersing any further. In stubborn pride, South Carolina remarked that if Lincoln won the elections it would secede from the Union.To everyone's surprise, Lincoln won. True to its word, on December 20, 1860, South Carolina adopted the Ordinance of Secession. Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and...

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