The Main Cause Of The Civil War Essay

1219 Words Dec 14th, 2016 5 Pages
If you were to ask any random person on the street what caused the Civil War, the most popular answer you would receive would be slavery. This is the commonly taught theory in American culture. Many modern historians have argued that slavery was, in fact, not the main cause of the Civil War. They claim that slavery was only a small part of a much larger picture. To quote President Barack Obama, “That is simply not true.” Slavery was indeed the main cause of the Civil War. The South seceded from the Union because of Abraham Lincoln and the Republican party’s stance on the slavery issue. Southerners were worried that their very way of life, which depended so heavily on a slave economy, would be taken away from them. Ironically, it was their secession from the Union that resulted in the complete emancipation of slavery in the United States. James Oakes, author of the book The Radical and the Republican, argues that, while slavery did cause the South to secede from the Union, the North did not fight the Civil War to free slaves. They fought the war to make the Union whole again. Slavery was not the only cause of the Civil War, but it was by far the most important and the most influential. As early as 1820 the people and the government were making distinctions between the North and the South in terms of slavery. At the time there were “an equal number of slave states and free states” in the Union. The problem arose over the expansion of slavery into the newly acquired lands of…

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