Causes of the American Civil War Essay

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For generations students have been taught an over-simplified version of the civil war and even now I am just coming to a full understanding of the truth. The civil war was a terrible rift in our nation, fought between the northern states (known as the union) and the southern states (the Confederate States of America). The people’s opinions were so divided over the issues of the civil war that, in some families, brother was pit against brother. Eventually, the south succumbed to the north and surrendered on April 9th, 1865 but not before the war had caused 618,000 deaths, more than any other war in U.S. history.(1) In truth, many believe this horrible war was fought purely over the issue of slavery. Nothing could be further from the …show more content…
The answer can yet again be found in the climate. The north’s climate was not optimal for growing crops on a large scale, it was much too cold. Another factor was the soil, which in many areas was very rocky and inhospitable to crops. The north, lacking the south’s ease at growing cash crops, turned to industry and the growth of large cities.(2-616) The average person could get a job working at a factory, thus slave labor was not necessary.(3) The north could look at the south and condemn them for using slaves because slaves were not necessary to the north’s economy. The gap between the northern and the southern United States kept widening as the north advanced the industry based society with larger cities, and the south, refusing to modernize, became increasingly more reliant on their farms. Also, abolition movements supporting the ending of slavery, particularly by the Unitarian Church of Boston led by Theodore Parker were gaining momentum and drawing supporters to their cause.(4)
Social and economic division as a major cause of the civil war really goes hand-in-hand with slavery. In fact, nearly every issue, while not directly about slavery, has at least a remote connection to slavery. The south couldn’t support their economy without the cheap labor provided by slaves. The economically independent north labeled slavery as immoral. The emancipation proclamation, which was issued September 22, 1862 outlawed slavery in Confederate states that would not return