Understanding thecause of the Civil War requires taking a look at a lot of different factors.The Civil War was a costly and complex war.
Some would even say that the CivilWar is still being fought. To most, slavery was the main reason for the Civil War.There would have likely not been a war of this magnitude without the issue ofslavery. However, factors such as culture, economical differences, power and politicsplayed a part in the Civil War.
Slavery was amajor part of southern culture before the civil war and even after the civilwar. Slavery was used as a bargaining tool in the early stages. Slaves wereseen as an asset. Slaves were used togain social status, pay off debts and to maintain prosperity.
The economy inthe south relied heavily on maintaining cotton plantations and tobaccoplantations. The rich and most powerful generally owned a lot of slaves andland. Ending slavery or interfering with slave labor in the south posed athreat to the economy in the south. The culture in thenorth was very different from the culture of the south. The north was moreindustrialized and didn’t rely on slave labor to maintain their culture andeconomy. The industrial revolution, and market revolution made it hard for thesouth to compete with the south. The north was seen as very powerful. This justadded even more cultural differences between the north and the south.
This also added to the tensions between thenorth and south. Even though slaveownership had decreased, slavery became a major political issue. The governmentand Lincoln were seen as a threat to the “institution of slavery”.
Lincoln’smain goal was to keep slavery from expanding any further. The south feared thatany disruption to the institution of slavery would have a major impact on theirculture and economy. They also feared that the north and the government wouldhave more control over their way of life. States didn’t havethe right to abolish slavery. State’s rights and independence became a goal toachieve in the war. The theory was that the states should be able to withdrawfrom the government rule. The issue ofstates wanting to leave the union was also a contributor to the war.
Statestried to withdraw from the Union. The government saw this as a threat tomaintaining democracy. The issue ofslavery expanding in to the west was another issue that caused the war. Stateswould either become free states or slave states. With the government not beingable to control the abolishment of slavery with the states, there was no way tocontrol the expansion of slavery.
Expansion into new territories would give theregions more power and more opportunities. The north and the south were bothconcerned with the west becoming slave states. Even though states wereeventually able to decide whether to become free or slave states, there wasstill concern about the expansion. The north wanted to prevent the expansion ofslave states. The north wasn’t against slavery as much as they wanted power andmore opportunities for growth. In conclusion, slaverywas the underlying issue that ultimately caused the war.
Power, culture and politicsalong with slavery was a major part of the civil war. The divide between theparties in the civil war was too great to fix with laws and compromises. Theoutcome of the war did have a huge impact on slavery but life for the slaveswasn’t much different.
The societal differences between the north and the southwere not solved with the war.