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What Caused the Civil War?

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What Caused the Civil War?

From April 12th, 1861 to May 9th, 1865, the United States was engaged in a bloody conflict known as The American Civil War. It was between the supporters of the Union in the Northern United States and the supporters of the Confederacy in the Southern United States. At the end of four long years of civil war, 140 thousand Union soldiers and 72 thousand Confederate soldiers were dead.

The Union won, resulting in the preservation of the nation's territorial integrity, the abolition of slavery, and the solidification of the principle that States may not secede from the Union of which they belong. At the end of the war, reconstruction began in the South, and the healing of a nation commenced. However, one may wonder, what caused this war? What caused all this bloodshed? Why did the Civil War occur in the first place? Obviously, there must be substantial reasons why this Civil War happened.

The Civil War was fought primarily over State's rights, slavery, and different cultures. The cultures of the North and South were different. These differences were much more than different language accents. The North was a culture of industrious factory workers, blue collar workers and farmers. The North had three times the population, manufactured 90% of the goods, and had ¾ of the railroads. The elite of the North were owners of factories and businesses. The South was composed of huge farms being tended to by slaves. The largest amount of property that existed in the South was not land, but slaves. The elite of the South were the huge plantation owners with huge numbers of slaves as property. These factors resulted in substantially different cultures.

The North, due to its larger population, had many more representatives in Congress and resulted in the election of several consecutive Presidents from the North. The South became very concerned that the North would eventually be able to politically weaken the institution of slavery within the South. Although as different territories were brought into the United States, the North and South were able to compromise, the South began to be legitimately concerned that its culture and slave property interests were in jeopardy.

Many compromises occurred, but it became pretty clear that the South was slowly losing the argument about the validity of slavery. When the South became very concerned about being able to maintain its institutions without interference, it believed it had little option but to secede from the United States and become its own country with its own culture. It seceded from the Union, hoping that the North would not care too much and simply acquiesce to the United States becoming two separate countries.

However, President Lincoln did not acquiesce. He believed the Union should be preserved as one country and he viewed the secession as an insurrection. He viewed the South



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