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Causes Of The Civil War An Arguement

Causes Of The Civil War: An Arguement Essay, Research Paper All wars begin from a common root: the fight for one side?s ways of life. The causes of the Civil War were

Causes Of The Civil War: An Arguement Essay, Research Paper

All wars begin from a common root: the fight for

one side?s ways of life. The causes of the Civil War were

no different. Three popular hypothesis for why the civil

war started are universal freedom versus slavery, agrarian

versus industrial economies and the belief in the power of

the states versus ?indivisible union,? but each one was a

part of the other and had an equal hand in fueling the war.

They can be summed up by saying that the war was caused by

two different economic systems trying to coexist under one

government, a ?house divided against itself cannot long

stand.?1 An extreme example would be if the US government

ruled over the United States and China; two separate ways

of life whose needs could never be met under one power.

The South as well as the North had a strong sense

of nationalism; neither side would yield. Lincoln himself

,whose goal was to unite the country, said ?I do expect it

will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or

all the other,?2 expressing his knowledge that two so very

different ways of life wouldn?t be able to be governed

together. At very least, one of the two side?s needs

would not be met. Under certain acts passed by the partisan

congress and courts, neither North or South was completely

satisfied.

The South?s needs were not met; they were forced

to pay tariffs on imported goods from Europe so the smaller

textile industry of the North could compete. Although

strong abolitionists were only 4% of the population in

the North, the South felt threatened. Men like John Brown

and Nat Turner brought fear of a slave uprising to the

South. Non-violent anti-slavery northerners wrote

literature such as Harriet Beecher Stowe?s Uncle Tom?s

Cabin, Frederick Douglass?s The North Star and Life and

Times, and William Loyd Garrison?s The Liberator. These

publications and incidents set the Southerners on the

defensive and some historians of today say they were a

little paranoid.3 In the North these publications only

heightened their awareness of the slavery and its moral

issues.

Slaves were the main source of economic wealth

for the South. With the invention of Eli Whitney?s cotton

gin, more slave labor was needed to produce more cotton,

57% of their exports. Since they could not produce as

much as the North, and depended heavily on imports,

tariffs became more of a burden and perhaps an insult to

the South. The state of Georgia wrote in its Declaration

of Causes of Seceding States that one of its reasons for

seceding was they had to help foundling shipbuilders in

the North from foreign less expensive businesses by paying

taxes brought on by Congress.

“…they (the North) have sought to throw the

legitimate burden of their business as much as possible

upon the public; they have succeeded in throwing the cost

of lighthouses, buoys, and the maintenance of their seamen

upon the Treasury, and the Government now pays above $2,000,

000 annually for the support of these objects… This

interest was confined mainly to the Eastern and Middle

non-slave-holding States.”4

With a Congress overpowered by Northerners

protecting their own natural interests, whose unfortunately

were very opposite from the South?s, one side?s needs were

not going to be met. Alienated from each other in their

way of life and ideas, the South felt no paternal bond to

the Union but habit. With no obligation to the North and

each small or large injustice felt being a straw that broke

the camel?s back, the South seceded and the civil war

followed. Not due to just slavery, economic differences,

or different political ideals but to two different ways of

life did the civil war start.

footnotes:

1Ward, Jeoffrey C.. The Civil War. Alfred A. Knopf, New

York. 1990. page 45

2Ward, Jeoffrey C.. The Civil War. Alfred A. Knopf, New

York. 1990. page 22

3Freehling, William. The Road to Disunion. Oxford

University Press, New York. 1990. page 557

4Georgia, Declaration of Causes of Seceding States.

internet: http.//sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/reasons.html

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