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Identifying the Major Causes of the Civil War Essay

The civil war happened between the years 1861 and 1865 when the history of the United States was still very young. It was a very costly war, leading to over 600000 casualties. Its origin can be traced to a number of causes, which I identify in this essay. First of all, there were tension between the North and the South due to economic and social differences (Catton, 1988). The economy of the south depended mainly on plantation agriculture, growing commercial cotton using slave labor. The north was industry-oriented, and this meant that two groups of people had to learn to live together.

Secondly, there were ideological differences as some people were against according of greater rights for the state while others felt that more authority needed to be vested on the federal government (Catton, 1988). Many felt that the US constitution had given the state very few rights, and this led to conflicts. Third, there was continuous animosity between those who supported the use of slave labor and those opposed to slavery. These conflicts eventually spilled over to the Senate, and these tensions contributed to the outbreak of war. Growth of the abolition movement was another leading cause of the Civil War.

The North generally opposed slavery while the South depended on it. African American slaves in the south started moving to the North where their rights were more recognized, and sympathizers there harbored them (Catton, 1988). This caused animosity between northern and southern states. Finally, the election of Abraham Lincoln, who was a supporter of the Abolitionist Movement, caused South Carolina to issue a declaration of secession Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia Louisiana and Texas soon followed suit, and action had to be taken to preserve the union (Catton, 1988).

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