The Cause of the Civil War

By , Adel, IA

In the 1700 and 1800s, the U.S was prone to war.  If our county wanted something, we fought to get it.  We battled against Native Americans for land, against Great Britain for independence and freedom, and even against Mexico for land twenty years prior to the Civil War. But this time, instead of fighting against someone else, America fought against themselves. The North and the South were so different and separated it really was the same as the U.S. and another country at war.  The South, where plantations were the main source of income, supported state power and the use of slaves. The slaves used in the south worked on plantations, picking cotton and tobacco. The North didn't understand the South's need for slaves. The North didn't have a use for slaves. They were big on factories and shipping, and were very highly populated compared to the South, and believed that power belonged in federal government. The differences between the North and South led to conflict and war because of unshared beliefs over state and central power, industrialization and slavery.


The North and South's clashing beliefs on federal power and state power led to conflict and the civil war.  The American Constitution has amendments supporting both state and central power. The 9th amendment backs up the North. It states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The North beliefs that the central government should create laws that are the best fit to help our country with what the law was created for. The federal government's goal is to create laws that take in the needs of the entire country, proving that it's still for the people. The South believes states should obtain the power for themselves, and for the people, making decisions and laws of what is best for the state. In state government, they are not allowed to make decisions that could affect the country as a whole. With these opposite beliefs, tension is formed between the North and South with state and federal power. State and federal power is one of the biggest and main causes of the civil war. Supporting different types of government gave the north and south to come into their other problems with a disagreement. From the start, if you don't agree on government, how can you agree or not clash on other important issues such as industrialization and slavery?


The expansion and divergent beliefs on induztrilzaion in the North and South led to conflict and the civil war. The invention of technology like the cotton gin, steam engine and cotton spinner, helped factories and plantations create/grow and produce cotton and clothing faster. With clothes being made faster, the demand from cotton in the south rise. The south grew 60% of the world cotton at the time. With the demand for cotton rising in the U.S. and the amount of cotton the South grows for the world, the South needs as much help they could get for picking crops, which results in the use of slaves.  The Northerns were being hypocrites about the South's use of the slaves picking the cotton that they demanded from the South. The North also had “ slaves” in an official way, minus the fact that they did not own any of these factory workers and that they were immigrants from other country and came to America on there own free will. The North had over 1,000,000 children working in factories in unsafe conditions, not having an education. The north paid all their workers poorly, most of the riches being with factory owners. How could the North be disgusted by slaves when they weren't even treating their own free and paid workers better? Both the North and the South relied on each other. They didn't realised how dependent they really were on each other. The North needed the South's cotton to keep producing clothes and having factories and the South needed to sell cotton to the north to keep making an income and having plantations.  The North was being unfair with hounding the South on the way they grew their cotton when the North used the South's cotton and barely treated their workers better. Because they both needed each other so much, calling out flaws in each other's systems of production created serious conflict between the North and the South. This was a very big cause of the civil war, and when they started fighting, the fact that they needed each other to function and have a income had to have dawned on them.


The North and the South's different views and beliefs on slavery led to conflict and the civil war. People in the North believed slavery was wrong. The Abolitionists, the main group against slavery in the north, believed that slavery was against God's will and quoted the bible that says, “ All men were made in God's image.” They also believed that slavery went against the constituents 9th amendment. Uncle Tom's Cabin, a book written by a white, northen daughter of an abolitionist, gave awareness in the North about how terrible slavery was.  This best selling novel sparked great tension between the North and the South, the South calling it a propaganda and that they had what slavery really was like completely wrong. The South states knew how much Slavery was needed and how much both the North and the South grew in industry because of it. If slavery ended, so would the economy. Less cotton would be grown, causing less cotton to go to factories and less cotton in factories equaled less clothes, meaning that jobs would be lost in factories because the former workers aren't needed anymore. Slavery also existed in history, with Rome and Great Britain having or having slaves previously. Abraham in the bible also had slaves, and slaves, or manservants, are mentioned in the ten commandments. Slavery was also good for Africans, it gave them christianity, they couldn't be fired, and they worked in the same or better conditions than paid workers in the North did. People in the North also called slavery wrong and inhuman when they still had segregation against free african americans in the North. In the Northern states, african americans were still denied the right to vote, and there was segregation in schools and public buildings. Most people in the North did not agree with slavery, but did not fight against it knowing that  they benefited from the cotton that was grown. Because of how against slavery the North was, war was almost certain to come if they wanted to put an end to it. With the north trying to do things to end slavery by taking the slaves illegally, it angered the South. When the North did not treat free african americans fairly, by not giving them full rights and having segregation, how did the North have the right to say such bad things about slavery when they benefited from it and not expect a war to come from it? This very topic separated our country the most, with half of the country believing slavery was morally wrong and deemed it illegal while the other half has slavery as a way of life. There was only one way to solve these disagreements and to make the country a whole again, and that was for the U.S to go to war against itself, and make slavery come to an end, or have it continue to happen in our country.


The different ideas in state and federal power, industrialization and slavery led to great conflict and the civil war between the Northern and Southern states of America. The civil war changed our country, but for the better. The Northern states won the war, causing slavery to be demolished in our country forever. Today, the country's views on state and federal power, industrialization and slavery is different from back then. For state and federal power today, most of the power is in central government, but the states do have the power to make decisions for themselves that only affect that state. Some of the laws they can make conclude of drug laws, death penalties and ect.  For industrialization, farms and factories are spread out all around the country, mostly in places that are best suited to have the best outcome from the farms and factories. Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, ( 3 states that were part of the Northern states at the time of the civil war) are 3 of the biggest farming states in the country today. They grow crops that include corn, wheat, beans and more.  For slavery, after the civil war was over, it was deemed illegal to own and use slaves throughout the entire country. Although slavery came to an end, racism  is still a huge problem in our country to this day.  Around 1960 was the decade segregation ended, with famous historical figures like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. helping it end. Even though segregation came to an end, today, groups like Black Lives Matter are working towards the goal of getting racism to end in our country once and for all. In the end, the civil war was a huge event for our country, causing around 600,000 american deaths.  The differences the North and the South previously faced helped mold our country, making it into the country we know and love today.






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