Economic Causes Of The Civil War

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There has been much historical debate over the causes of The American Civil War, with some historians arguing that it was due to the rising abolition movement and others arguing that it was due to economic factors, such as the fundamental differences in the Northern and Southern economies. Many Historians tend to agree that although the war did not begin because of slavery, it influenced the events of the war itself and its outcome, as the cause became one of emancipation. Civil War historiography doesn’t describe the origins of the civil war being purely economic and frequently the view of the Civil War as ‘a crusade against the evil of slavery’ is rejected. Other factors to consider when examining the origins of the Civil War include political …show more content…
Many historians agree that Southern deficiencies in commerce, finance and transport ultimately led to the Southern defeat and the emancipation of slaves, as it was not a war between two equal parties. In the South, there was a shortage of factories which could be used to make guns and weaponry and they lacked methods to transport any goods over long distances. In contrast, the North benefited from an industrial revolution in the first decades of the nineteenth century and therefore had access to the extensive rail network and factories. The North were therefore dependent on labourers as opposed to slaves, whereas in the South, slavery existed to produce cotton. Southern states were significantly dependent on Slavery. The geographical location of Southern states meant that the land possessed favourable soil and terrain for plantation farming and as a result there was a need for slave labour. Almost ninety-five per cent of Southern blacks were slaves and they were an essential part of the plantation society. Although, the plantation legend of the South is often thought as by historians as “one of great inaccuracy”, as the southern economic system was not completely reliant on profits from plantation farming. In contrast, the rapid population growth urbanized the North through the creation of cities, whereas the South remained agrarian. Population in the North became …show more content…
For example, The Abolition Movement caused a huge division between Northern and Southern states. Slavery was not just an economic institution but also a domestic one, it was a key feature of the southern way of life and many abolitionists viewed this institution as being morally wrong. Abolitionist movements spread across America in size and popularity with groups such as the Free-Soil party. The Free-Soil party opposed the expansion of slavery in Western territories. They offered an alternative to slave labour, free man and free soil, a system which they argued would be more moral as positions once held by slaves were given to white settlers and it was seen as more economically sustainable. Eric Foner argues that the shared “free labour ideology” of the Republican party united them before the Civil War. John Brown’s raid is another example of the moral abolition movement causing the American Civil War. Brown’s raid in Harper’s Ferry was an attempt to free the slaves there and to start a slave rebellion, whilst killing people in the process. It is seen as being ‘the ultimate manifestation of black radicalism’. This caused further tension between the north and south because states in the confederacy were made aware of the rising abolition movement and the threat it could pose to their society if it were to be a success. States in the confederacy viewed his actions as being one of a ‘mad

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