Causes of the American Civil War?


I have to do an AP History project. The project is write a 1-3 page about something that caused the American Civil War and explain how. We can not use slavery! We can use anything, but slavery. I have no idea what I want to use. Suggestions?

1. Economic and social differences between the North and the South.

With Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin in 1793, cotton became very profitable. This machine was able to reduce the time it took to separate seeds from the cotton. However, at the same time the increase in the number of plantations willing to move from other crops to cotton meant the greater need for a large amount of cheap labor, i.e. slaves. Thus, the southern economy became a one crop economy, depending on cotton and therefore on slavery. On the other hand, the northern economy was based more on industry than agriculture. In fact, the northern industries were purchasing the raw cotton and turning it into finished goods. This disparity between the two set up a major difference in economic attitudes. The South was based on the plantation system while the North was focused on city life. This change in the North meant that society evolved as people of different cultures and classes had to work together. On the other hand, the South continued to hold onto an antiquated social order.

2. States versus federal rights.

Since the time of the Revolution, two camps emerged: those arguing for greater states rights and those arguing that the federal government needed to have more control. The first organized government in the US after the American Revolution was under the Articles of Confederation. The thirteen states formed a loose confederation with a very weak federal government. However, when problems arose, the weakness of this form of government caused the leaders of the time to come together at the Constitutional Convention and create, in secret, the US Constitution. Strong proponents of states rights like Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry were not present at this meeting. Many felt that the new constitution ignored the rights of states to continue to act independently. They felt that the states should still have the right to decide if they were willing to accept certain federal acts. This resulted in the idea of nullification, whereby the states would have the right to rule federal acts unconstitutional. The federal government denied states this right. However, proponents such as John C. Calhoun fought vehemently for nullification. When nullification would not work and states felt that they were no longer respected, they moved towards secession.

3. The fight between Slave and Non-Slave State Proponents.

As America began to expand, first with the lands gained from the Louisiana Purchase and later with the Mexican War, the question of whether new states admitted to the union would be slave or free. The Missouri Compromise passed in 1820 made a rule that prohibited slavery in states from the former Louisiana Purchase the latitude 36 degrees 30 minutes north except in Missouri. During the Mexican War, conflict started about what would happen with the new territories that the US expected to gain upon victory. David Wilmot proposed the Wilmot Proviso in 1846 which would ban slavery in the new lands. However, this was shot down to much debate. The Compromise of 1850 was created by Henry Clay and others to deal with the balance between slave and free states, northern and southern interests. One of the provisions was the fugitive slave act that was discussed in number one above. Another issue that further increased tensions was the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. It created two new territories that would allow the states to use popular sovereignty to determine whether they would be free or slave. The real issue occurred in Kansas where proslavery Missourians began to pour into the state to help force it to be slave. They were called &quot:Border Ruffians.&quot: Problems came to a head in violence at Lawrence Kansas. The fighting that occurred caused it to be called &quot:Bleeding Kansas.&quot: The fight even erupted on the floor of the senate when antislavery proponent Charles Sumner was beat over the head by South Carolina’s Senator Preston Brooks.

4. Growth of the Abolition Movement.

Increasingly, the northerners became more polarized against slavery. Sympathies began to grow for abolitionists and against slavery and slaveholders. This occurred especially after some major events including: the publishing of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the Dred Scott Case, John Brown’s Raid, and the passage of the fugitive slave act that held individuals responsible for harboring fugitive slaves even if they were located in non-slave states.

5. The election of Abraham Lincoln.

Even though things were already coming to a head, when Lincoln was elected in 1860, South Carolina issued its &quot:Declaration of the Causes of Secession.&quot: They believed that Lincoln was anti-slavery and in favor of Northern interests. Before Lincoln was even president, seven states had seceded from the Union: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.

It was caused by the issues over the dispute of slavery. Decades before the Civil War, the South’s economy was mostly based on slave labotr doing the work in the plantations. If you remove slavery, then the Southern economy would go down. The South tried to extend control, and into which slavery would be extended into other parts of the USA, The more valuable it would, it made their existing slaves and the entire plantation based economy that sustained the south. Why ELSE do you think that the south was so anxious to undo the Missouri Compromise, as they pressed for? Why ELSE do you think that there was pressure (and plans) in the South to invade and annex Cuba and Nicaragua in the 1850’s? And why ELSE do you think that, with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Kansas became &quot:Bleeding Kansas&quot: and a rehearsal for the armed conflict of the Civil War. Slaves were a significant capital asset (no pun intended), and the South was well aware that their enormous investment in slaves was not just connected to their individual slaves but the system of slavery as a whole.

After Lincoln was elected in 1860, many feared that he would introduced legislation to bann slavery and since they were more free than slave state so the South seceded. The South wrote the Declaration of Immediate Cause said that slavery was the main reason why they left the Union.

Don’t confuse Secession with the WAR. The War came later. The states seceded from the union because they felt that the Federal government was getting too powerful—Issues such AS Slavery were ‘state Matters’ not federal ones. So the nation split.

The WAR was about the North Trying to save the Union and INVADING the South. The South was fighting off the northern INVASION—and for it’s independence.

The north was very industrial powered and ‘modern’ you could say while the south was pretty much a large fancy farming community. The north was also the hub for political affairs and wanted to take a stronger hold on the south and usher them up to speed. The South did not like to be controlled, and resisted. The slavery thing was just a front to the economical and political situation. Also, Abe Lincoln said the war was not about Slavery and in the beginning did not care if they were freed or not he just wanted to pice back the Union before the whole country collspsed on its self.

Lincoln had no choice but to go to war following the secession of a number of southern states.To allow states to secede whenever they liked,for whatever reasons they wanted,without the federal government doing anything about it,would have made the USA ungovernable.

Further,to allow secession to be successful would have menat that Lincoln would have been a lame duck president for the whole of his term,and would have ended any chance of re-election (and probably even nomination by his party) for him,so it would have been the end of his political career.Lincoln would also have gone down in history as the man who allowed the USA to split.

So,Lincoln had to go to war in 1861 against the newly formed Confederate States of America to preserve his political career and his reputation in the history books.

In fact there was Only one cause Lincoln

Because Lincoln was a Liar and a war monger the War was about the states leaving the Union and Lincoln did Not want to go down in Histroy as the cause of destroying the Union

If they [the founding fathers] had foreseen it, the probabilities are they would have sanctioned the right of a State or States to withdraw rather than that there should be war between brothers. (The Personal Memoirs Of Ulysses S. Grant, Old Saybrook, Connecticut: Konecky &amp: Konecky, 1992, reprint of original edition, pp. 130-131)

There is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits a state from peacefully and democratically separating from the Union. Indeed, the right of secession is implied in the Tenth Amendment, which reads,

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 Constitution does not give the federal government the power to force a state to remain in the Union against its will. President James Buchanan acknowledged this fact in a message to Congress shortly before Lincoln assumed office. Nor does the Constitution prohibit the citizens of a state from voting to repeal their state’s ratification of the Constitution. Therefore, by a plain reading of the Tenth Amendment, a state has the legal right to peacefully withdraw from the Union.

Critics of the Confederacy cite certain clauses in the Constitution about the supremacy of federal law or about states not being allowed to enter into treaties with foreign powers, etc., etc. However, it goes without saying that such clauses only apply to states that are in the Union. There’s simply nothing in the Constitution that says a state can’t peacefully and democratically revoke its ratification. If a state’s citizens were to vote in a legitimate democratic process to revoke the state’s ratification of the Constitution, either by direct vote or by convention, then that state would no longer be bound by the Constitution. The citizens of each state are the ultimate sovereign, not the federal government. The federal government is supposed to be servant of the people, not their master. Even Lloyd Paul Stryker, who opposed secession, admitted the Southern states had an “arguable claim that no specific section of the Constitution stood in their way,” i.e., no section of the Constitution prohibited peaceful, democratic separation (Andrew Johnson: A Study in Courage, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1930, p. 447).

The great early American constitutional scholar William Rawle said a state had the right to secede. Rawle was a contemporary of founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and was appointed by George Washington as the first U.S. Attorney for Pennsylvania. Rawle’s book A View of the Constitution of the United States was used as a legal textbook at a number of universities, including West Point, Dartmouth, and Harvard. To this day, scholars who debate legal issues relating to the First and Second Amendments refer to Rawle’s work.
*Rawle’s book, “A View of the Constitution of the United States”
…
was used as a legal textbook at a number of universities, including West Point, Dartmouth, and Harvard. To this day, scholars who debate legal issues relating to the First and Second Amendments refer to Rawle’s work.

“It depends on the state itself to retain or abolish the principle of representation, because it depends on itself whether it will continue a member of the Union. To deny this right would be inconsistent with the principle on which all our political systems are founded, which is, that the people have in all cases, a right to determine how they will be governed. This right must be considered as an ingredient in the original composition of the general government, which, though not expressed, was mutually understood. . .”

(*Robert E. Lee told Bishop Wilmer, of Louisiana, that if it had not been for the instruction received from Rawle’s text-book at West Point he would not have left the United States Army and joined the Confederate Army at the breaking out of the War.)

so Lee was Right and a Great American and Lincoln was Wrong and should Not carry the Title Honest abe

or were the Most elite Military school teaching Prospective Leaders of the Union Army Lies

How can you not use slavery when talking about the Civil War? It’s all about slavery. Even if you’re talking about other aspects of it slavery informs everything about it.

It was caused by the question of who is more powerful (States Rights advocates) or (Strong Central government advocates). The South was States Rights and the North was Strong Central government.

the north was trying to increase its manufacturing of textiles to grab the market from england, it wanted and needed cotton from the south and tried to force it to become part of their government . the north and south by all rights were separate country’s with their own governments. the south was selling their cotton to england and had no intention of making itself part of the union /government country . the union/north tried to stop cotton shipments to england by blocking sothern ports. the south took up arms -war

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