The Civil War, commonly known as “TheWar Between the States”, or identified by others as “The War between the North andthe South” has brought to many the idea of it being inevitable. Many haveconcluded that the presence of an authoritative central leadership could havehelped avoid the whole situation. For those who know all the factors that ledto the Civil War, they would have known that based on the circumstances presentat that time, the war occurred mainly because of three main causes: The South’sdependence on slave labor to maintain its agrarian economy and its way of life;the North’s determination to empower and strengthen the Federal government; andthe consequently political dispute, which resulted from what the South viewedas a usurpation of its sovereignty. The Civil War was fought between theConfederates (The South) and the Union (The North) after many disagreements andthe decision of the Confederates to secede from the Union to make their owncountry.The issue of slavery was the primarycause of the Civil War since there was a contradiction between the states forthe abolition of slavery.
“The industrial revolution in the North, during thefirst few decades of the 19th century, brought about a machine age economy thatrelied on wage laborers, not slaves. (Chadwick)” The South relied more onslavery for labor to work in the fields. The North on the other hand was moreindustrialized and wanted slavery to be considered illegal throughout theUnited States since it was viewed as wrong and evil. As the abolitionist movementgained momentum, the South grew increasingly fearful that their way of lifewould soon come to an end.
The disagreement over slavery “led to secession, andsecession brought about a war in which the Northern and Western states andterritories fought to preserve the Union, and the South fought to establishSouthern independence as a new confederation of states under its ownconstitution. (“Causes of the Civil War”)”Apart from the disagreement of slaverybeing one of the most known causes towards the Civil War, politics had much todo with it as well. Tariffs were taxes that were paid on goods that werebrought into the country; this brought much controversy between the North andthe South. The South thought that this was aimed towards them since theyimported a wider variety of goods and believed that it was unfair. Taxes werealso set on Southern goods that were shipped to foreign countries; this was notapplied to Northern goods at equal value.
“Additional territories gained fromthe U.S.–Mexican War of 1846–1848 heightened the slavery debate. Abolitionistsfought to have slavery declared illegal in those territories… (“Causes of theCivil War”).” Before the Civil War, the politicalpower in the Federal government which was centered in Washington D.
C had begunto change. The northern and mid-western states becamemore powerful as their populations increased; while the southern states beganto lose political power as their populations did not increase as rapidly.Therefore, as one segment of the nation grew larger and increasingly morepowerful than the other, their respective socio-political and economic issueswould be addressed separately and accordingly.
The North insisted onstrengthening the Federal Government since infrastructure is solely required inareas where industry flourished. On the other hand, the Southerners lived inself-sufficient states and did not need a Federal Government. “When theRepublican candidate Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 presidential election,Southern fears that the Republicans would abolish slavery reached a new peak.Lincoln was an avowed opponent of the expansion of slavery but said he wouldnot interfere with it where it existed. (“Causes of The Civil War”)”Abraham Lincoln’s presidency triggered the South’s movement to secede from the federalgovernment. This resulted in the South making a unilateral decision to secede. Although our immediate thoughts to thiswas that yes, the war was inevitable, the war did not just happen because ofslavery.
The socio-political and economic republic was destined to transform inendless of ways. Quite often in the course of human events, change bringsinstability, which leads to conflict, both political and armed.