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The Main Causes Of The American Civill War

1518 words - 7 pages

SlaveryThe burning issue that led to the disruption of the union, however, was the debate over the future of slavery. That dispute led to secession, and secession brought about a war in which the Northern and Western states and territories fought to preserve the Union, and the South fought to establish Southern independence as a new confederation of states under its own constitution.The agrarian South utilized slaves to tend its large plantations and perform other duties. On the eve of the Civil War, some 4 million Africans and their descendants toiled as slave laborers in the South. Slavery was interwoven into the Southern economy even though only a relatively small portion of the ...view middle of the document...

Learn more about Dred ScottStates' RightsStates' Rights refers To the struggle between the federal government and individual states over political power. In the Civil War era, this struggle focused heavily on the institution of slavery and whether the federal government had the right to regulate or even abolish slavery within an individual state. The sides of this debate were largely drawn between northern and southern states, thus widened the growing divide within the nation. Learn more about States' Rights.Abolitionist MovementBy the early 1830s, those who wished to see that institution abolished within the United States were becoming more strident and influential. They claimed obedience to "higher law" over obedience to the Constitution's guarantee that a fugitive from one state would be considered a fugitive in all states. The fugitive slave act along with the publishing of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin helped expand the support for abolishing slavery nationwide. Learn more about the Abolitionist Movement.The Underground RailroadSome abolitionists actively helped runaway slaves to escape via "the Underground Railroad," and there were instances in which men, even lawmen, sent to retrieve runaways were attacked and beaten by abolitionist mobs. To the slave holding states, this meant Northerners wanted to choose which parts of the Constitution they would enforce, while expecting the South to honor the entire document. The most famous activist of the underground railroad was Harriet Tubman, a nurse and spy in the Civil War and known as the Moses of her people. Learn more about The Underground RailroadThe Missouri CompromiseAdditional territories gained from the U.S.-Mexican War of 1846-1848 heightened the slavery debate. Abolitionists fought to have slavery declared illegal in those territories, as the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 had done in the territory that became the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Advocates of slavery feared that if the institution were prohibited in any states carved out of the new territories the political power of slaveholding states would be diminished, possibly to the point of slavery being outlawed everywhere within the United States. Pro- and anti-slavery groups rushed to populate the new territories. Learn more about The Missouri CompromiseJohn BrownIn Kansas, particularly, violent clashes between proponents of the two ideologies occurred. One abolitionist in particular became famous-or infamous, depending on the point of view-for battles that caused the deaths of pro-slavery settlers in Kansas. His name was John Brown. Ultimately, he left Kansas to carry his fight closer to the bosom of slavery. Learn more about John BrownThe Election Of Abraham LincolnExacerbating tensions, the old Whig political party was dying. Many of its followers joined with members of the American Party...

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