The Story Behind The War

1835 Words8 Pages
The Story Behind the War
Tiana Thibeault

Traditionally, students have been taught that differences between northern and southern economies caused the Civil War. The industrial revolution in the North, during the first few decades of the 19th century, brought about an economy that revolved around a machine age which relied on wage laborers, not slaves. At the same time, the warmer Southern states continued to rely on slaves for their farming economy and cotton production. Southerners made huge profits from cotton and slaves and fought a war to maintain them. Northerners did not need slaves to establish or maintain their economy and fought a war to free them. Everything else, we are led to believe, was tied to that economic difference that was focused on cotton.
The economy which was tied to agriculture was certainly one cause of the Civil War, but not the only one. Wars are never simple and neither are their causes. Research shows there are other factors that helped bring about the war which are central to a deeper understanding of America 's past.
So what did start the Civil War—a war that divided the nation, destroyed crops, cities, and railroad lines, and claimed 630,000 lives? Many factors threw the nation into chaos in 1861. Key political issues at the time include the slow destruction of the Whig Party, the founding of the Republican Party, and, most important, the election of Abraham Lincoln as president in 1860.
Religious opponents to slavery increased in number
Get Access