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History of The American Civil War Essay

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History of The American Civil War

The Civil War was a brutal war between the North and South of America over the issue of slavery, which was spurred on by the secession of the southern states from the Union of a America.

At the time slavery was one of the main issues in America that caused a disagreement between the north and south and these disagreements about humanity and slaves added to the tension that would finally lead to the out break of war.

Slavery was almost totally abolished in the northern states after 1787 when the Constitution was drafted at the Philadelphia Convention and slavery was looked upon as the ‘peculiar institution’ of the southern states, by the north. The southern states looked upon slavery as a way of life and were in no way prepared to give up what they felt was there property and a very important part of their cotton and farming production. Another implication that caused great tension between the north and south over the issue of slavery was that even though their were anti-slavery supporters in the south; some of the abolitionists of the north would write notices and say that all southerners were evil and cruel slave owners, who would treat their slaves badly. This angered the southerners who felt that the northerners were just being hypocrites and didn’t know what they were talking about, which turned pro anti-slavery southerners into stronger supporters of the south.

It was thought by some anti-slavery groups in America that slavery would die out because America had in 1808 stopped the participation in the international slave trade, which meant no supplies of new slaves would be coming in. But this theory proved wrong because slavery in the south began to expand due to the great demand of raw cotton from cotton mills of the Industrial revolution from overseas places like Britain. Also the cotton-based expansion of slavery came due to the invention of the cotton gin, by Eli Whitney in 1793, which cleaned the cotton plant and refined it on a mass scale. The south started more tension over slavery when they decided they had to expand their territory westwards and gain more states because other wise they would be out voted in congress and slavery would be abolished completely, also they needed new land to replace all the over used farming land in the other southern states.

The Abolitionists were another factor tha...


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...o the Republicans Lincoln was a moderator but to the southerners he was an evil figure that became a sign that the union was to become radicalized. Just after the election of Lincoln South Carolina, followed by six other Southern states, took steps to secede from the Union. Although secession was illegal the union had no power to oppose it and all alternative compromises failed and so in February 1861 a new southern government was inaugurated as the, ”Confederate States of America.” This new government drafted its own constitution and elected its own president, General Jefferson Davis who was a Kentuckian like Lincoln. An as Lincoln so wisely said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”, which meant America divided in two couldn’t carry on.

So that April morning in 1861 when the confederate army opened free fire on Fort Sumter a fort being held by the union on southern soil, it would be the final act that all these causes and tensions that I’ve mentioned would finally have built up to. Which would have set off one of the most horrific wars of all time.
And as most Americans describe it, “It was a war that defined America’s character.”

Bibliography:

Encarta 2001


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