The Beginnings Of Slavery In The American War

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South Carolina seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860. Residing in Fort Moultrie, located near the Charleston Harbor, United States Maj. Robert Anderson and his force of less than a hundred soldiers found themselves in hostile territory. Maj. Anderson’s resolution was to relocate to a nearby post called Fort Sumter. They did so on December 26 and held position. Just after the inauguration of President Lincoln on March 4, 1861, Anderson reported that he had only a six week’s supplies left in the fort, and the Confederates where getting antsy with a foreign force being in their territory. April 11, 1861, Confederate Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard demanded Fort Sumter’s surrender. Maj. Anderson’s refusal brought upon fire by Confederate …show more content…
Could the United States of America survive as a confederation of independent states; or could it morph into a unified nation with national government? The biggest decider between the two futures was slavery. Both the Northern and Southern states had very different views upon what would become of the cheapest labor known to man. Slavery was autonomous with the South’s economy even though only a relatively small part of the Southern population owned slaves. Slaves could be rented, traded, or sold. Ownership of more than a handful of slaves bestowed respect and contributed to social position, and slaves, whom could also be used as a form of currency. Slaves could be sold, rented, or traded as the owner saw fit. These slaves represented the largest portion of the region’s personal and corporate wealth. On the other side of the fence, the Northern States, including the Northern Territories, collectively abolished slavery by 1787 with the Northwest Ordinance. They simply did not need slave labor with the constant flow of immigrants from Europe. These laborers were more than happy to work for low wages in the industrial settings of the Northern states. This constant supply of cheap labor eased the need for slave labor. This chief difference between the hemispheres of the Union brought immense tension on slavery. The North was riding their high horse with their slave replacements while putting political pressure on the Southern states to denounce their ways, not considering that slavery was holding the Southern economy

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