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The Main Cause of the Civil War

By , Columbia, MO, MO
Many people can argue that the main cause of the Civil War was the Kansas-Nebraska Act, The Missouri Compromise, or even the Compromise of 1850. There are an abundant amount of reasons that people can argue how the Civil War was started. What most people don’t understand, that most of the events leading up to the Civil War that people debate on, were related to slavery. Slavery is the practice of, or a system based on, using the enforced labor of other people (in this case the “other people” were African-Americans). At the time of the Civil War, the Abolitionists (the people that wanted to end slavery most were in the north) had many conflicts with the South (who preferred slavery). All of these conflicts, such as the Border War and John Brown’s Raid, made the North and the South have violent attitudes toward each other. And then the “straw that broke the camel’s back” effect came into place, and the North and the South eventually declared war against each other. The main cause of the Civil War was slavery as shown by the Border War, John Brown’s Raid, and the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher.

One example that slavery was the main cause of the Civil War was Bleeding Kansas. This is also known as the Border War. The Border War was when the U.S. gave Kansas the chance for their citizens to vote whether they wanted Kansas to be a free state, or a slave state. If the border war never happened, Kansas would have been a free state. What happened though is that Missouri’s citizens wanted Kansas to become a slave state. So the citizens of Missouri snuck into Kansas and voted slavery for Kansas. The Missourians then went around the towns of Kansas, and killed many that did not vote slavery. They even killed women and children. This event supported to the “violent attitude” that was stated in the introduction paragraph. Many people saw this event as a hatred of the people that supported slavery and the people that didn’t.

The second Example slavery was the main cause of the civil war was because of John Brown’s raid. John Brown grew up in Ohio. At a young age, his father taught him to hate slavery. As john became older, he decided that he would attempt to free the slaves in Harpers Ferry, Virginia. He went into the town, and killed many people, hoping to start a slave rebellion. He was then sentenced to death. The reason this is a key cause to the Civil War was because the South viewed the North as if the North wanted to kill slave owners to end slavery. This also made many slave owners afraid that more Northerners would go into Southern cities to start a slave rebellion and kill innocent people. Just like what John Brown did. This was another example of the “violent attitude” that eventually led to the Civil War.

The last example that slavery was the main cause of the Civil War was because of the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher. This novel was about slavery and the awful things that slave owners would do to their slaves. This book is the bestselling book next to the Bible. The reason it’s so popular is because people in the North during this time period actually thought that slavery was like it was in the book. When the North read it, they were furious by the way African Slaves were being treated in the South. When the South read it, the book angered them and the South thought it was just a book full of lies and hatred toward slavery. What they didn’t realize though, is that the novel was fiction. This book may have been a very important cause of the Civil War because the North saw the South inhumane and thought that all Southerners treated slaves just like they did in the book. The South saw the North as liars. This caused a lot of argument and also caused conflict.


The Border War, John Brown’s Raid, and the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin are the main reasons why slavery is the most important cause of the Civil War. If you look at any event during this time period, all of the events are related to slavery in some way, shape or form. The three supporting events in the paragraphs above of why slavery was the main cause of the Civil War are the most violent. These are the most important reasons because as stated in previous paragraphs, these events formed “violent attitudes” between the North and South. Without these events there wouldn’t be such attitudes between the two. Without these violent events there wouldn’t be anything to cause the Civil War.





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