The Battle Of The Civil War Essay

1646 Words Apr 19th, 2015 7 Pages
There is a long-standing debate over the causes of the Civil War wherein one popular view is that it was a war waged to end slavery, while the other view, usually more sympathetic to the South, is that the contention was over states ' rights (in the interest of self-determination instead of subservience to the federal government). This is an interesting disagreement, because it implies a disagreement regarding which of the two sides was actually fighting for freedom. Despite the implicit opposition of these viewpoints, I actually cannot understand why this debate even occurs. As is typical of any war, each side thought theirs was the right side, and the war was indeed fought over states ' rights; more specifically, states ' rights to practice slavery. It is true that there were economic and social disparities between the industrial North and agrarian South that were not entirely defined by the issue of slavery. However, core versus periphery economic tensions exist in most societies, and is surely not what caused the bloodiest war in American history. Additionally, the fact that slavery had persisted so much longer in the South than in the North is itself relevant to these economic disparities, so the issue of slavery (an important economic institution in the antebellum south) remains at the forefront of the discourse. Clearly, all human activities are a product of the manifold and complex processes of history, with such ideas as “cause” and “beginning” often being…

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