Slavery And The Civil War

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Howard Zinn once wrote that “The clash was not over slavery as a moral institution, rather the war was brought on by Northern and Southern elites who recognize the incompatibility of two distinct economic systems.” In this statement Zinn is referencing to the Civil War and stating that the war was started over the contrasting economic systems of the North and South. I disagree with this statement and instead believe that the peculiar institution, slavery, was the major factor that led to the conflicts of the Union and Confederates. The differing morals of these two distinct regions sparked the beginning of the war and the position of slavery as a moral institution and the rate of its growth was an underlying issue of the war. The Civil War …show more content…
The war initially began because of uncompromising differences between free and slave states over the power of the national government to prohibit slavery in new territories. In 1848, Mexico ceded the Southwestern territory known as the Mexican Cession to the United States and conflict arose between the North and the South of whether or not it would remain free. Later on the Wilmot Proviso was proposed to ban slavery in any territory acquired from Mexico which angered the slave-holding Southern states. Finally, the election of 1860 which resulted in Abraham Lincoln becoming president who had a platform to prevent the expansion of slavery caused the Southern states to secede and started the Civil War. Evidently, the U.S. was thrown into the Civil War caused by a dispute over slave and free …show more content…
It was shown that “slavery control[ed] all the leading measures of the nation and mould[ed] its political economy.” Slavery had a hand in everything that ruled over the country and played a deciding factor in all political decisions. Since slavery was so consistent throughout the South it caused many border disputes and deepened sectional tension. Abraham Lincoln once stated that “I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.”There was no compromise, the U.S. government had to be either all free or all slave and Lincoln believed in stopping the expansion of slavery.Abraham Lincoln’s platform was to prevent slavery from spreading Westward and that made the South feel threatened because slavery was their backbone and without it they would be ruined. During the many debates over the topic of slavery it was once mentioned that “there is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence…” Lincoln was basically saying that blacks should be allowed to have all the rights as stated in the Declaration of Independence. In the Declaration of Independence, it states that “all men are created equal”, so the blacks were clearly not included in this statement and the mistreatment of them in the South angered the North which led to the inevitable dispute.

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