Causes of the Civil War


Although some historians feel that the Civil War was a
result of political blunders and that the issue of slavery
did not cause the conflict, they ignore the two main causes.
The expansion of slavery, and its entrance into the
political scene.
The North didn\'t care about slavery as long as it
stayed in the South. South Carolina seceded, because Abraham
Lincoln, a Republican, was voted into office. The Republican
party threatened the South\'s expansion and so Southerners
felt that they had no other choice.
The United States was divided into three groups by the
time the Civil War began: those who believed in the complete
abolition of slavery, those who were against the expansion
of slavery, and those who were pro slavery. The Republican
party was formed in opposition to southern expansion. Their
views were Free Soil, Free Men and Free Labor. The
Republicans were anti-South but they were in not
abolitionists. They believed that slavery was a flawed
system that made the south ineffective and because the
North\'s free labor system was superior it must be guarded
from southerners.
When the Republican candidate, Abraham Lincoln was
elected in 1860, the South felt threatened, and because
expansion was vital to the survival of slavery they also
felt their way of life was being threatened. Because slavery
was such an important part of Southern society, the South
felt that they could not survive without it. That\'s why they
were not willing to compromise with the north. To own slaves
was a sign of wealth and social prestige and poor farmers
who could not afford slaves had a goal to work for. In the
election of 1860 you can see that Lincoln only secured 4% of
the popular vote in the South, only winning in the upper 5
states, where in the north he received 54% of the popular
vote. This shoes how united the South was in their dislike
for Lincoln. If the South had been more divided they
might have been more willing to compromise.
The central cause of conflict between North and South
was slavery, but it was only in it\'s expansion that it
became a reason for war. The entrance of slavery into
politics made it into a public issue, and once the issue
became public the conflict had to be solved.