Discuss the causes of the Civil War Essay
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The Civil War, also known as the “War between the States”, was fight from 1861 to 1865 between the Union (or the North) and the Confederacy (the South). There were many causes such as economic disparity between north and south, slavery, and the election of Abraham Lincoln.
The North had an industrial based economy whereas the South was a predominantly agricultural economy. One of the major reasons of the outburst of the Civil War was two different labor systems – free labor in the north and slavery in the south.
In the Northern America, as the machines took place of laborers in the rise of big factories, they needed free labor instead of slavery, so the slaves became no longer important. On the other hand, the South was based on agricultural and relied upon the labor of the slaves.
This economic disparity has given rise to a debate over slavery. The North wanted to end up the spread of slavery, since it was a major obstacle in the development of Northern economy, but at the same time, it would cause big loss of benefit in the South.
The conflict was intensified by the election of Lincoln of 1840, because the Southerners thought Lincoln was anti-slavery and would be in favor of Northern interests. After the election of Lincoln, South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida and some other southern states seceded from the Union and formed the Confederacy. On April 12, 1861, the Confederates oped fire at Ft. Sumter, which was the first battle of the Civil War.
Conflict between the North and the South could not have been avoided. The industrial capitalistic economy in the North and plantation economy in the South had increasingly conflicts in raw materials, markets, tariffs, labor force and other aspects. The core problem was the slavery. In economy, it has hindered the development of capitalistic economy in the United States. In politics, it has become a risk factor that caused Federal division. After the Industrial Revolution in Britain, the cotton textile industry developed rapidly, so did the Northern America.
The demand for cotton was highly increased. In this case, mass production of cotton was profitable, which meant large amount of cheap labor – slaves – was needed. What’s more, whether slavery was legal in the newly gained territories from westward expansion, has been the most acute problems, because the creation of a slave or free state was directly related to which side could control the Senate. Thus, with the development of two types of economy, the conflict between the North and the South was unavoidable.
In conclusion, although the Civil War was one of the most tragic wars in American history and unavoidable, the nation was reunited and strengthened as a whole country, not just a collection of states.