Causes of the Civil War Essay

1477 Words Mar 25th, 2005 6 Pages
The Causes Of The Civil War

The Political War The North and South fought over politics, mainly the idea of slavery. Basically the South wanted and needed it and the North did not want it at all. The South was going to do anything they could to keep it. This was the issue that overshadowed all others. At this time the labor force in the South had about 4 million slaves. These slaves were very valuable to the slaveholding planter class. They were a huge investment to Southerners and if taken away, could mean massive losses to everyone. Slaves were used in the South as helpers in the fields in the cultivation of tobacco, rice, and indigo, as well as many other jobs. The South especially needed more slaves at this time because they were now
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When new territories became available in the West the South wanted to expand and use slavery in the newly acquired territories. But the North opposed to this and wanted to stop the extension of slavery into new territories. The North wanted to limit the number of slave states in the Union. But many Southerners felt that a government dominated by free states could endanger existing slaveholdings. The South wanted to protect their states rights. The first evidence of the North's actions came in 1819 when Missouri asked to be admitted to the Union as a slave state. After months of discussion Congress passed the Missouri Compromise of 1820. This compromise was legislative measures that regulated the extension of slavery in the United States for three decades. Now the balance of 11 free states and 11 slave states was in trouble. Maine also applied for statehood in 1819, in which it was admitted as a free state. To please the South, slavery would be prohibited forever from Louisiana Purchase territories north of 36° 30'. Southern extremists opposed any limit on the extension of slavery, but settled for now. Missouri and Maine were to enter statehood simultaneously to preserve sectional equality in the Senate. For almost a generation this Compromise seemed to settle the conflict between the North and South. But in 1848 the Union acquired a huge piece of territory from Mexico. This opened new opportunities for the spread of slavery for

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