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Why Was The South Fated To Fight The Civil War?


There was no one reason as to the cause of the American Civil War. Like most Civil Wars there had been a build of differences over a period of time. In the case of the American Civil War there was a distinct difference between the economies, federal rights, slavery and elected president. These differences held the country in a North/South divide.

Economic and Social differences. Prior to invention of the cotton gin (1793), the production of cotton was on the decline. Cotton was a very labour intensive crop. The decline was so devastating to the Southern Cotton farmers that they were starting to let their slaves go as they could not afford to keep them. The cotton gin revitalised the cotton economy, and more farmers were producing cotton as a major crop. In the North the economy was mainly about purchasing the raw cotton and manufacturing. The North was very much focussed on manufacturing processes and city life, which was multi-cultural and classless. The South held on to the old world class system and tended to not be so tolerant of a multi-cultural society.

After the Revolution there still existed two major parties. One party lobbied for individual states to have greater autonomous rights and the other party felt that the federal government needed to have greater control over individual states. In reality there were 13 individual states that were a alliance of sorts under a very weak federal government, that tended to ignore the rights of the states. The alliance felt that certain federal directives were unconstitutional.

As America expanded, with lands that were gained from the Mexican War, there needed to be decisions as to whether the newly formed states would prohibit slavery. A compromise was made in 1820, declaring that with the exception of land in Missouri, slavery would be banned in any state that was formed from the former Louisiana Purchase (latitude 36 degrees 30 minutes north). But this directive was not adhered to. The emergence of the new state of Kansas, was invaded by pro-slavery Missourians and there was renewed interest in the determination of differences between 'free' and 'slave ' states which further renewed the North/south divide. Northerners became more opposed to slavery and it became illegal to harbour fugitive slaves to be located in non-slave states. As if things were not bad enough when Lincoln was elected in 1860, the South believed that he was anti-slavery and therefore would only have interest in the Northern States.

So, really there was no other outcome than a Civil War.

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