Essay on Cause of the American Civil War

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The cause of the American Civil War has been a politicized subject for the past 152 years. There are many different theories for what the main cause is, however the best answer is an all of the above approach. The cause of the war that divided the nation cannot be narrowly defined into a single issue but each cause is affected and tied together. The main causes that resulted in the Civil War were the issue of nullification, tariffs, but most importantly just an overall difference in their ways of life. Yes, slavery was a cause of the war, but that was not one of the central causes that popular belief has engrained in us all, however, the role that slavery had will be discussed. These reasons all-fed off each other, which eventually…show more content…
Most of the enlisted men who fought and died overwhelmingly said on both sides stated that the preservation or abolition of slavery was not the main cause of the war. James McPhearson’s book, For Causes and Comrades: Why Men fought in the Civil War, highlights these causes, and stated, “Relatively few Union volunteers mentioned the slavery issue when they enlisted” . McPhearson uses letters written home or diaries as his example and most do not touch upon the issue. The question of slavery truly became important after the Emancipation Proclamation, in 1862-3. The North started to string victories together, moved further down south, and they witnessed slavery firsthand. That is when the average Union soldier began to care about the issue of slavery, well into 1863. The reason why most men enlisted in the Union in 1861 was for one major reason, that was patriotism and keeping the spirit of 1776 alive. The Northern view on the spirit of 1776 was the goal of preserving the Union that was created by the Founding Fathers. As one Yankee Volunteer declared, “I do feel that the liberty of the world is placed in our hands to defend and if we are overcome then farewell to freedom” . Union soldiers believed and fought for the idea that America continued to be the last best hope for freedom. The soldiers believed that a defeat would weaken America’s perception by Europeans

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