Causes of the Civil War

Essay by yamonkb24High School, 11th gradeA+, October 2009

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There have been many theories on the origins of the American Civil War, and many notable historians have very different views on the subject. However, I believe the main reasons for the start of the Civil War were the differences in the Northern and Southern economies, and because of political differences.

The political issues that were a part of the cause of the Civil War revolved around matters that involved territorial subjects and slavery acts. In 1820, the Missouri Compromise was worked out and gained congressional approval. Missouri was to be admitted as a slave state, and Maine would enter the union as a free state. The compromise also prohibited slavery in other American territories west of the Mississippi river and North of Missouri's southern boundary. Shortly after this, Stephen A. Douglas introduced a bill called the Kansas-Nebraska Act. It proposed to divide the Nebraska Territory into two seperate territories: that of Kansas and that of Nebraska.

It was implied that Kansas would become a slave state, and Nebraska would be free of slavery. Popular sovereignty was also put into effect. This act gave the voters in each territory the right to decide whether to become a free state or a slave state. Together, they rendered the Missouri Compromise meaningless. Immediately, the Missouri Compromise had failed. Proslavery and antislavery civilians clashed in the streets and took up arms. Thousands of Northerners were willing to die for their beliefs. This proves that the dividing battle between the North and the South was caused by economic, political and moral problems. It all started by an alarming increase in a need for cotton, which triggered the building of a barrier between two territories in a growing nation.

As the South's dependence on slavery increased between 1790 and 1860, the gap between the Southern...