Was the Civil War inevitable? This was one of the most controversial arguments in American history. Personally, I think this war would happen sooner or later. The long-term cause was the different ideas on the slavery system between the North and the South. After the Confederates attacked Fort Sumter, the Civil War began. Slavery was the biggest problem between the North and the South. The economy in the south relied on agriculture. The owners of big plantations required thousands of slaves to work for them in order to earn profits. Oppositely, in the north, the industrial revolution began. Plenty of new factories were built and they needed lots of workers. At the same time, lots of immigrants from countries such as Germany, Britain and Ireland, came to the north. Almost all of them had the same purpose which was to achieve the “American Dream”.
They believed that if they worked hard, they could be rich eventually. They strongly opposed the slavery system because almost of them were poor in their countries. They believed that everyone was born equal and people should be treated equally, too. As the population grew rapidly in the north, the situation in the House of Representatives changed as well. The South now had fewer representatives and fewer advantages. They were really horrified. There were several key events heated up the rivalry and led up to the Civil War, some of these were the Wilmot Proviso, Bleeding Kansas, Dred Scott decision in the Supreme Court, John Brown at Harpers Ferry and the military action in Fort Sumter. “The Wilmot Proviso claimed that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any part of said territory” (Remini, Page 127).
Finally the Proviso was passed and southerners were angry about it. Later on, in Kansas, “violence erupted between free men and slaveholders that degenerated into a local civil war” (Remini, Page 137). It brought the tension between the North and the South into a higher level. Dred Scott, a black slave, sued for his freedom and citizenship. After that, what John Brown did really brought some kind of horror to southerners. “He led a raid that he hoped would ignite a slave insurrection” (Remini, Page 140). He seized the federal arsenal there and killed some southerners. The direct cause of the Civil War was the military action at Fort Sumter. President Lincoln decided to provision Fort Sumter in the Charleston harbor. Confederates attacked the fort and the Civil War began. In my opinion, the American Civil War was inevitable.
The root cause was the existence of the slavery system. It slowed down the industrial development of the North, but helped the plantation system in the South. Both sides argued whether slavery should be allowed in the new states or not. They had no way to come up with an agreement. After Lincoln was elected to be the president, some southern states quit the Union and formed a new “Union”. In order to protect and maintain the Union of the states, the battle between the North and the South finally started. As a result, throughout the American Civil War, the slavery system was abolished in the United States. It really cleared the “barrier” of capitalism, which was the slavery system, and spurred the U.S. economy rapidly on.
Courtney from Study Moose
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