their is no agreement on what caused the civil war only competeing theroies. the civil war was not just about the institution of slavery in the south it also had many underlineing conflicts. Many political, social, and economic indifferences caused the sussecion of the south and the war to preserve the union. in the early eighteen hundreds slavery was becoming less moral in the eyes of the northern states of America the belife that we could not be a country that called itself the land of the free and also partisipate in slavery was becoming more strong.
The South started to become peranoid that the North was trying to destroy the southern way of life and institutions mainly slavery, they believed the north was convicing slaves to escape and harboring the fugitive slaves in northern states. the Missouri compromise was an agreement that their would be no slavery prohibited above the 36 30′ pharallel of the newly aquired land of the Luisiana purchase, the south had agreed to this with the admission of missiouri into the union as a slave state. A compromise for more stringent fugitiave slave laws was made for the addmission of california as a free state along with the idea of popular sovereignty to decided the slavery laws for the terriories of utah and new mexico and later kansas.
Tthe south eventually believed the fugitve slave laws that were put in place were considered null and void by the northerners as only a few hundred of the tens of thousands of slaves that had escaped were returned to their owners, this along with the relase of the book Uncles Tom’s Cabin which ruthlessly potrayed southern plantation owners was enough evidence to convince the south that their way of life was being threathend by the north. with popular sovereignty the way the slave laws were decided in new terrriories when kansas came into the uninon pro-slave southerners and abolitionist from the north flocked to be able to get the vote in their favor.
What insued was known as bleeding kansas for the amount of carnage that took place was not only a preminission of what was to come but also more fuel thrown on to the inferno of segragation between the north and south states. john brown being present during bleeding kansas was a violent abolitionist who believed slavery would be delt with only through violance and wasnt soon after kansas that he raided an armory in virgnia hoping to insite a slave riot, in a battle lasting for two days no slaves came to his aid.
John was tried for treason and insiting a slave insurrection, the north saw him as a hero and the south viewed him as a terrorist just more conflict for the south to see in the north as destroying their way of life. these two regions in one nation were on separate paths down a road that would only intersect at a volitile crossroads. the south was agriculturly based and the north was growing more industrious two worlds that unfourtuanlty dont mix well even though they relie on eachother to survie.
As the Norht grew more industrious the goverment placed tariffs on European products that made them to expensive for southern farmers forcing them to buy northen made goods. eventually northern products becoame more expensive to keep up with the european products. unfortuneatly crops like cotton and tabacco were becoming worth less in the south because of compition from Africa and the Caribbean, this lead to a vicious circle of debt for the sourthern farmers. to make more money to keep up with mechinery costs of the north the farmers need to buy more land which requires two things, territories to come into the union as slave states and loans from banks which were in the north.
The farmers resented the north banks for their high intreset rates and for the plain fact they were in the north becuase the north was making it hard for slave states to come into the union, this added to the political unrest between the two regions. the low cost of crops put the southern farmers in a cornern haveing to barrow money to buy land to plant more cotton which would lower the cost of the crop which in turn would force them to barrow more money from northern banks to plant more crops.
the main reason the southern economy was in a downward spiral building up debt to the north was the fact that their was no diversity in the crops everyone and their mother was growing cotton or tabacco driveing down the cost, the more you have of something the cheaper it is. becuase of the amount of debt the south was acummulating they were becoming a dependent semi-colony of the north not their equal. with newly aquired western states coming into the union as free states the balance of free soil states verse slave states was starting to weigh in the favor of the Northerns, the south did not like this at all fearing they would soon lose their power in the goverment.
With the incresesing population of the North beacuse of immagrants from Europe into cities they had lost the control of the house of represenatives and now with the imbalance in slave to free states not only were they losing land to farm but they were going to soon be outnumbered in the senate. with elections right around the corner the economic problems in the country had led to sectional political parties the biggest then are still the biggest today.
The democrats where largly in the south consisting of farmers they stood for slavery, a weak central goverment and low or no tariffs and infustructure. the republicans were in the North and rallied behind their new canidate Aberham Lincon the idea of amansipation, goverment spending and diviresifing the economy was this parties goal. the South saw Lincoln as the turning of the tide in the control of the goverment if he was to be elected president, most of the presidents up to this point had been from the south. this struggle for political power among the north and south would in turn tear the union into two opposing factions.
With the election of Lincoln the southern states South carolina, Missippi, Floridia, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Georgia secceded from the union to form the Confedreate States of America. South carolina leading the seccesion claimed their reason being as it was stated in the Decliration of Independence that the goverment had not protectede their rights as a state and any state can leave if they feel so inclined, in The Declaration of the Immediate Causes.
Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union they also stated that other northern states had completely disregareded the fugative slave laws refusing to uphold them and were in fact promoting the escape of slaves, the goverment not doing anythign about this was in turn trying to abolish slavery. afetr the attack of fort sumter When lincoln came into office he declared that going to war with the confederacy was the only way to preserve the union. when he called to rally maillitas from each state, Virginia, Arkcansa, and Tennesse secceded and joined the confederacy subsequently the western part of virginia joined the union, the stage was set for a war that would scare the nation.
The civil war could have been prevented at a few key events, i personally believe that if the country had boycotted all eurpoean good it would have helped the economy of the south and kept them happy for a while longer. but the true element that forced the kettle to boil was the expansion of the country, if no new states had been taken on then their would have been no fighting over free or slave states. no political wars for seats in the senate and many peoples lives would have been saved american, native american, and mexican.