The causes of the civil war

Essay by ilcracersHigh School, 11th gradeA-, February 2004

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The causes of the war will be found at the base of our politics, in the fundamental law, the Constitution itself, the conflicting constructions which it invited, and in the institution of slavery which it recognized and was intended to protect. If asked what was the real issue involved in our conflict, the average American citizen will reply, "The Negro"; and it is fair to say that had there been no slavery there wouldn?t of been a war. But there wouldn?t of been slavery if the South's protests could have helped when it was first introduced; and now that it is gone, although its sudden and violent end of slavery had consequences upon the South directly and incidentally a series of unfortunate happenings which no pen can describe happened. The South maintains the responsibility for the presence of this political battle. When the Constitution was adopted and the Union formed, slavery existed in practically all the States; and it is claimed by the Southern people that its disappearance from the Northern and its development in the Southern States is due to weather conditions and industrial needs rather than to the existence or absence of great moral ideas.

Slavery was undoubtedly the immediate fomenting cause of the unhappy American conflict. It was the great political factor around which the passions of the sections had long been gathered. But slavery was far from being the sole cause of the long conflict. Neither its destruction on the one hand, nor its defense on the other, was the energizing force that held the contending armies to four years of bloody work. If all living Union soldiers were summoned to the witness stand, they would testify that it was the preservation of the American Union and not the destruction of Southern slavery that induced him...