Why did the Southern states secede in 1861?

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The succession of the Southern States had been brewing for many years; this was due to fundamental differences in agriculture and resultant adoption of slavery in the South. From early days, the thirteen states had grown up separately, and each had their own culture and beliefs, which were often incompatible with those held in other states. The geographical and cultural differences between north and south would manifest themselves at regular and alarming intervals throughout the hundred years following the drafting of the constitution. Tension increased during the 1850s, over the right to hold slaves in new territories. The Wilmot Proviso of 1846, roused bitter hostilities, and violent debate turned to physical violence during the period…show more content…
"On news of Lincoln 's election, South Carolina (site of nullification fight in 1830s) secedes"

The southern states which seceded were; South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina who attempted to form a southern Confederacy on equal terms to the Union in the north. Throughout the seventy three history of the United States up to 1860, there had always been rivalry between the north and the south of the country. This was based in their culture, economy and ideas, for example, the North were generally unionists, supporting the supremacy of the Federal government, the South were generally more state orientated, supporting the rights of individual states to run their own affairs. The contentious issue of slavery had many implications. The South depended economically on the institution. There was one industry - cotton - due to the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney (ironically a northerner) in 1793 which made cotton production very profitable. Profits soared making slavery an even greater institution. Between 1800 and 1860, the number of slaves increased from one to four million - this was despite slave importation being banned in 1808. The South was dependent on this one industry which depended on slavery, without slaves the southern economy would collapse. The Northern economy did not rely on slavery, they had an industrial base. It

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