The American Civil War Was an Irrepressible Conflict. Do You Agree?

2087 WordsNov 25, 20139 Pages
‘The American Civil War was an irrepressible conflict.’ Do you agree? The American Civil war is one of the most studied topics in American history. Yet still, a definitive answer cannot be found as to why the war broke out. Many of the interpretations can be grouped into two major schools of thought: the irrepressible conflict or the Blundering Generation. It was certainly true that the North and South were becoming increasingly different during this period. Slavery being the most fundamental of these, however there was also variances in the economies and culture. This would support the idea that the war was inevitable as the differences were too great. However, it can be argued that radically different societies can co-exist without…show more content…
However, blundering politicians contributed significantly to its failure. Stephen Douglas created a number of problems when he tried pass the Kansas - Nebraska Bill, although Northerners were keen to see Nebraska developed, Southerners were less enthusiastic, due to the fact that it lay north of latitude 36 30. and by the terms of the Missouri compromise all new states would eventually enter the Union as Free states. Douglas knew he needed Southern support to enable the bill to be passed in congress; this meant he would have to change the bill so that the South had a chance of expanding slavery in this area. Although in theory slavery could move Northwards, Douglas felt that due to the climate problems this was highly unlikely. Douglas, a great believer in popular sovereignty saw no problem in letting the people of Kansas - Nebraska decide their own fate. Douglas believed that in doing this he had succeeded in winning over the South without conceding much in return. However, Douglas had miscalculated the feeling in the country. Between 1854 and 1856 there were a number of issues that arose, primarily due to both sides trying to influence popular sovereignty. A significant individual error was made by President Pierce who appointed Andrew Reeder, a pro-slaver, as governor of the territory. It was obvious from that start that he was incapable of handling that situation. In the first elections pro-slavers from Missouri crossed

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