Was slavery the cause of the civil war? Was one particular event the breaking straw that made the war unevitable?

Essay by KIMBERLY2561University, Bachelor'sA+, August 2004

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

The Civil War, fought between 1854 and 1862, between the North and South was a bloody battle that eventually led to the end of slavery. Even today, many individuals feel like slavery was the cause for this war. It is true that "had there been no slavery, there would have been no war." Ironically, it is also true, that many of the soldiers on either the North or South side were not fighting "for" or "against" the policy of slavery. Although slavery may have been an underlying cause of the war, many economic, cultural and political differences between both sides all contributed to the start of the war.

Politics played a huge role in the start of the war. Although slavery was a moral issue during the 1800's that divided many political leaders, the average American had little interest in slaves. Most Southerners were too poor economically to afford slaves, and most Northerners were small farmers who had never even seen a slave.

For political leaders though, slavery was a very large issue. The economy of the South was based upon cotton. The invention of the cotton gin and closing of the international trade slave trade in 1808 were two unrelated events that created the South's surplus slave population These two circumstances - the means to cultivate cotton rapidly and the restriction of slaves needed to produce it - made some Southerners very rich and slaves became a valuable asset. Slavery became entrenched in the Southern states, and became known as the antebellum South. The South's labor force was made up mostly from slaves. The political leaders of the South knew that if slavery were outlawed, the economic system would collapse. They did not want to pay higher wages than necessary. The South had an economic issue in...