This essays explains what caused the civil war.

Essay by joshuahHigh School, 10th gradeA+, February 2003

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Causes of the Civil War

The main cause of the Civil War was slavery. The southern states depended on slavery to support their economy. The southerners used slaves to produce crops, especially cotton. The debate between the north and south was that should slavery be permitted in the western territories. The north was against slavery so they were worried about it expanding over into the western territories.

The American Revolution had been fought to validate the idea that all men were created equal. At the Constitutional Convention there were arguments over slavery. Representatives of the northern states claimed that if the southern slaves were mere property, then they should not be counted toward voting representation in Congress. A compromise settled an argument over whether slaves would be counted as part of a state's population (if they were counted, southern representation would increase). The convention agreed to count each slave as three-fifths of a person.

Slavery wasn't the only reason why the war broke out. The north wanted to grant the federal government increased powers. The south wanted to reserve all powers to the individual states. The north also wanted internal improvements sponsored by the federal government. This was more roads, railroads, and canals. The south, on the other hand, did not want these projects to be done at all.

When new territories became available in the west, the south wanted to expand and use slavery in the territories. But the north opposed to this and wanted to stop the extension of slavery into new territories. The north wanted to limit the number of slave states in the Union. But many southerners felt that a government dominated by free states could endanger existing slaveholdings. The south wanted to protect their states rights.

The first evidence of the north's actions came in...