Discuss the major causes of the US Civil War.

Essay by george75University, Bachelor'sC+, April 2006

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The differences between the North and South of the United States were

substantial on the eve of the Civil War there were a number of

factors that caused this. Each side detested each other due to a

number of economic, social, political and cultural contrasts which led

to an irrevocable disintegration of relations between the states in

the years preceding 1861. Many have disagreed with the term Civil War

because it was not a class struggle. For example, John Nirven has

stated that it is very difficult for historians to agree on the basic

causes because it was a sectional combat in which the roots of

political, economic, social, and psychological elements were very

complex. (The Coming of the Civil War, 1990).

When any historian investigates the causes of the Civil War,

immediately slavery comes to mind. Problems initially began because of

disagreements of slavery the North was against it and saw it as a

moral issue that needed to be controlled and eventually dissolved.


the other hand, the South, with their plantation crops and puritanical

social hierarchy were very much in favour of it. In fact, they relied

on it as their economy was sustained primarily by slavery as the

labour was cheap and was needed for the production of such goods as

their vast cotton market.

Therefore, the subordination and suppression of the Negro race in the

South was a great cultural difference to the Northern States. The

North however did not need slavery as they had grown more economically

and industrially advanced, along with the fact that the climate and

terrain was unsuitable for the Negroes.

Had there been no slavery, there would have been no war. Had there

been no moral condemnation of slavery, there would have been no war

Sydney E. Ahlstrome (History...