The American Civil war is one of the most significant historical events in America (McPherson, 2010). It arguably led to great transformations in the American history. The American Civil War occurred between 1861 and 1865 between the north (affiliated to the federal union) and the Confederacy (the south) (Parish, 2020). The American Civil War was precipitated by a wide range of political, cultural, and economic factors, predominantly, slavery in the south.
States’ rights were a major cause of the American Civil War. It was a culmination of decades-old political unrest in America. Therefore, the aspect of the states rights’ was an ancient concept. The unrest began after the writing of the American constitution. It revolved around the allocation of power: how much power did the states have compared to the federal government? The confederacy (the southern states) felt that the government was taking away power and freedom. The Missouri compromise of 1820, was relatively unfair in solving the expansion issue, it threatened the existence and the way of life of the southerners (McPherson, 2010). Following the presidential win of Abraham Lincoln, the south states felt that the north ought to cease their right to govern themselves. They seceded separately in a move to disband from America. It led to the north treating them as rebels of the government resulting into war.
Slavery in America was one of the major social causes of the American civil war in the 19th century. Slavery was the source of all evils in America. At the heart of north and south divide, there was slavery (Jones, 2012). The southern states majorly depended on slavery as a source of labour for their fields. On the other hand, the northern states perceived slavery as an evil against humanity and advocated for its abolition. The southern states wanted to expand slavery in the western states; however, the north states were against the idea and were open to paid white labour only. The cultural differences precipitated conflicts, as the southern states believed that the northern states wanted to influence their way of life.
In the 17th centuries, the economies of the south and the north states of America parted. The latter deviated from farming and focused on industrialization. The north depended on capital-intensive methods of production (Jones, 2012). Contrary to their counterparts, the southern states relied on agriculture, predominantly cotton farming. They relied on slaves to provide free labour in their fields as a way of maximizing outputs. The industrial revolution in the north did not depend on slaves and so it elicited contrary opinions about the economic practice. According to Jones (2012), the economic divergence was a major cause of conflict that intrigued war. The northern states produced more than double of what the southern states produced. Besides, the industrialization in the north disadvantaged the south during the war. The northerners continually produced weapons as the war continued; in the south, it was different.
The causes of the American Civil war were as intriguing as the conflict itself. There were numerous areas of conflict between the northerners and the southerners. They ranged from political, economic, and cultural factors. Conflict in America dates back to the development of the constitution, where the abolitionist felt that the southerners were immoral. Slavery was at the heart of the civil war. Almost every aspect of conflict revolved around slavery. The culmination of the long decades of conflict, however, marked a history in America. The war led to the abolition of slavery in the South.
Jones, J. A. (2012). A Nation Divided: Civil War Politics and Emancipation. Inquiries Journal, 4(09).
McPherson, J. M. (2010). Out of war, a new nation. PROLOGUE-QUARTERLY OF THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION, 42(1), 6-13. Retrieved from https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2010/spring/newnation.html
Parish, P. J. (2020). The American Civil War. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003124313