There were several reasons the Civil War began. The north and the south had completely different views on some very important subjects.The north believed that slavery was not needed, but the south had needed slavery in order to harvest the crops. Also, new territories were being settled. Lastly, Abraham Lincoln was elected president. The areas of the United States had different economies. In the North, the economy was based on factories and wages. Everyday people worked in the factories. The South had large plantations, which grew cotton. The plantation owners needed the slaves to pick the cotton. They didn’t receive wages, but they were provided food and shelter. In the Midwest, wheat was the number one cash crop. It was harvested by a machine, so they didn’t need as many workers or slaves.
These different economies caused divisions in the United States. Also, new territories were being settled. The South wanted the new territories to be admitted to the Union as slave states. This was to prevent the slaves from escaping into free territories. The North wanted the new territories to be free. Some people thought the new territories should have the right to vote whether they wanted to be free or slave. This is called State’s Rights. An agreement was reached called the Compromise of 1850, which lasted for three years. In this compromise, fugitive slaves were ordered to return to their owners. The abolitionists thought that they shouldn’t have to follow that law.
Next, Abraham Lincoln said that slavery should be abolished. He was elected president and South Carolina immediately seceded from the Union. Then, six more states joined South Carolina and formed the Confederate States of America (CSA). The South felt that Lincoln would abolish slavery and take away their economy or their way of life. They also felt that each state had the right to vote on any law. More people died in the Civil War than any other war. The reasons for the Civil War were different economies, state’s rights to vote on laws, and the election of Abraham Lincoln as president.
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