The Causes of the Civil War

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The Causes of the Civil War

The U.S. has maintained its state as the most active and influential country in the world for many years. A close observation of the U.S. history shows that the country has faced a lot of challenges, and close yet significant battles in the land. Slavery, the 1860 presidential elections, and the Fort Sumter Battle were the primary factors which prompted the beginning of the Civil War that saw the death of thousands of victims.

The Role of Slavery

Undeniably, the ultimate causes of civil war was slavery. Slavery had become a dominant issue in North America for many years. By 1804, a majority of the states in the North had eradicated the institution of slavery (Newman 145). The origination of cotton gin in the South intensified the need of slaves making the southerners to strongly oppose the move to eliminate this institution. The conflict between the South and the North was based on slavery anterior to the Civil War. The Northern States emphasized that the country needed to be a free nation. Contrastingly, the South disagreed with the North and saw the need for having people who would do the hard work for little or no compensation.

The Constitutional Context

The constitution of America permitted slavery although the document did not contain the words "slavery" or "slaves". The law contended that escaping slaves had to be delivered to their keepers. Furthermore, the 1791 Bill of Rights never mentioned anything about slavery even though the Fifth Amendment gave the slave keepers the absolute right to take with them their property (Segal, Benesh and Spaeth 355). Eventually, the issue of keeping slaves evolved into a negative rivalry between the South and the North and later initiated the Civil War.

The Presidential Elections of 1860

Another event that ignited the civil war was the 1860 presidential elections. The 1860 Election had four candidates from separate parties including John Bell, Stephen Douglas, John Breckinridge, and Abraham Lincoln. Northern Democrats nominated Stephen Douglas and John Breckinridge by Democrats from the South. The Constitutional Union Party chose John Bell. Eventually, Abraham Lincoln, the representative of the Republicans, secured the maximum votes (Egerton 75). The recession started when America elected Lincoln as the president. The leaders from the Southern states had declared that they would not surrender themselves to the Northern Party. They considered the Northern Party as strict and hostile. Moreover, they would withdraw or leave the union.

The Fort Sumter Battle

On 20th December 1860, South Carolina began the initial Ordinance of Secession. By retracting from the Union, South Carolina asserted independence. Additionally, other States from the South chose to follow Carolina's path. By 1861, other ten Southern States followed Carolina under the title of "Confederate States of America". As the Confederates and the Union split, they started the bloodiest war in the history of America (Hummel 113). The Confederates kept refusing to rejoin despite the Unions' willingness to force them to consolidate.

The Final Provocation

The contingency that finally provoked the Civil War was the Fort Sumter Battle. Through secession, many federal forts, inclusive of the South Carolina's Fort Sumter, abruptly turned into outposts in a distant land. The newly elected president, Abraham Lincoln, came up with the decision of sending new deliveries to the beleaguered command posts. In April 1861, the Confederate battleships drove away from the deliver escort to Fort Sumter and launched a 34- hour stronghold bombing. Later, the garrison surrendered to the Confederates. The war now commenced and President Lincoln asked for over 75,000 combatants to enter the Northern battalion (Sandburg 300). Reluctant to promote troops, Arkansas, Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina destroyed their relations with the federal government.


In conclusion, Slavery, the 1860 presidential elections, and the Fort Sumter battle caused the Civil War. The 1861 Civil War played an essential role in forming a greater nation since it promoted freedom through abolishing the slavery institution. By examining the Civil War, it is clear that the war in a country might assist in developing a more stable and stronger nation.

Works Cited

Egerton, Douglas R. Year of Meteors: Stephen Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, and the Election that Brought on the Civil War. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2010.

Hummel, Jeffrey. Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Freemen: A History of the American Civil War. Illinois: Open Court, 2013.

Newman, Richard S. The Transformation of American Abolitionism: Fighting Slavery in the Early Republic. Chapel Hill: Univ of North Carolina Press, 2002.

Sandburg, Carl. Storm Over the Land: A Profile of the Civil War. Massachusetts: HMH, 2015.

Segal, Jeffrey A, Sarah C Benesh, and Harold J Spaeth. The Supreme Court in the American Legal System. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

November 13, 2023

History War

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Civil War

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