C:\fakepath\what caused the civil warPresentation Transcript
What caused the Civil War? By: Cynthia Stevens, Kevin Houser, James Alty, Joel Ogram
There were many reasons for a Civil War to happen in America, and political issues and disagreements began soon after the American Revolution ended in 1782. Between the years 1800 and 1860, arguments between the North and South grew more intense. One of the main quarrels was about taxes paid on goods brought into this country from foreign countries. This tax was called a tariff. Southerners felt these tariffs were unfair and aimed toward them because they imported a wider variety of goods than most Northern people. Taxes were also placed on many Southern goods that were shipped to foreign countries, an expense that was not always applied to Northern goods of equal value. An awkward economic structure allowed states and private transportation companies to do this, which also affected Southern banks that found themselves paying higher interest rates on loans made with banks in the North. The situation grew worse after several "panics", including one in 1857 that affected more Northern banks than Southern. Southern financiers found themselves burdened with high payments just to save Northern banks that had suffered financial losses through poor investment.
John Brown was a man of action -- a man who would not be deterred from his mission of abolishing slavery. On October 16, 1859, he led 21 men on a raid of the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. His plan to arm slaves with the weapons he and his men seized from the arsenal was thwarted, however, by local farmers, militiamen, and Marines led by Robert E. Lee. Within 36 hours of the attack, most of Brown's men had been killed or captured.
Slavery was not the single cause of the Civil war. The many differences arising from the slavery issue provoked the Southern States to secede. Abraham Lincoln was elected as president of the United States in 1860. Not a single Southern State had voted for him. Lincoln and his Republican party had the goal of only stopping the expansion of slavery not abolishing it. White Southerners were not convinced by Lincoln’s promise to protect slavery where it existed. South Carolina had declared it would secede from the Union if Abraham Lincoln was elected, and it did so in December 1861. It was followed shortly by the other lower South states of Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Florida. In February 1861, a month before Lincoln was inaugurated, these states formed a new nation, the Confederate States of America. After Lincoln's call for volunteers to suppress the rebellion and the firing on Fort Sumter, the other slave states of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas joined the Confederacy. The border slave states of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri remained in the Union.
Economic Differences between the north and the south
With Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin in 1793, cotton became very profitable. This machine was able to reduce the time it took to separate seeds from the cotton. However, at the same time the increase in the number of plantations willing to move from other crops to cotton meant the greater need for a large amount of cheap labor, i.e. slaves. Thus, the southern economy became a one crop economy, depending on cotton and therefore on slavery. On the other hand, the northern economy was based more on industry than agriculture. In fact, the northern industries were purchasing the raw cotton and turning it into finished goods. This disparity between the two set up a major difference in economic attitudes. The South was based on the plantation system while the North was focused on city life. This change in the North meant that society evolved as people of different cultures and classes had to work together. On the other hand, the South continued to hold onto an antiquated social order.