Causes Of Secession

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The Breaking Point: What Caused Secession?

There were many elements that led to the Southern states to secede from the Union in the 19th century. Although there were numerous causes for the withdrawal of the Southern states, the preeminent causes originated from the beliefs of the North regarding anti-slavery. Among the many causes for the secession of the Southern states, significant causes include, the consequences of Western expansion, growing sectional differences between north and south, and the breaking point, the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. One momentous cause for the secession of the Southern states involves western expansion and manifest destiny, causing conflicts for both the north and south. The territories
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The largest consequence of these sectional differences was the splitting of the Democratic Party. Furthermore, President Buchanan was mostly at fault for this when he supported Kansas’s Lecompton Constitution. The Lecompton Constitution was a deceiving document which ensured slave-owners in Kansas would be protected no matter what. Although Southern Democrats were pleased, Northern Democrats frowned upon the President’s endorsement of this unjust document, thus splitting the party in two, Southern and Northern. Additionally, John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, which ended in the death of many innocent people, sharpened sectional hostility. It led southerners to believe that all northern abolitionists were like Brown, while the North viewed Brown as a respected individual who died fighting for those who were unfairly enslaved. On the contrary, the South believed that the raid symbolized the North forcing its abolitionist ways on them, swaying them to secede. This is evident in the second document which states, “The North is accumulating power, and it means to use that power to emancipate your slaves. Furthermore, another example of sectional conflict arose with the Dred Scott case. In the case the Supreme Court, which mostly with consisted of pro-slavery southerners, ruled that since Dred Scott was a slave, he was not a citizen. Additionally, the Supreme Court declared that Congress did not have the power to prohibit slavery in any territory. This idea was later adopted as part of the Southern Democratic Party’s platform. This is evident through document one which states, “all the citizens of the United States have an equal right to settle with their property in the territory”. They also undermined the idea of popular sovereignty by saying that government could not interfere with slavery. Not only did this colossally challenge the

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