Causes of American civil war

American civil war was fought between the US army of the North led by US president Abraham Lincoln and Confederacy in South on the issue of Slavery.


Economic and social differences between the North and the South.

  • The southern economy depended on a single crop plantation of cotton(good profits after the invention of cotton gin) which needed cheap labor through the system of slavery. The northern economy was based more on industry than agriculture. This disparity between the two set up a major difference in economic attitudes. The South was based on the plantation system while the North was focused on city life. This change in the North meant that society evolved as people of different cultures and classes had to work together. On the other hand, the South continued to hold onto an antiquated social order.

States versus federal rights:

  • Since the time of the Revolution(independence from Britain in 1765-93), Americans were divided about the  role and extent of federal(center) powers. They felt that the states should still have the right to decide if they were willing to accept certain federal acts. When states felt that they were no longer respected, they moved towards secession.

The fight between Slave and Non-Slave State Proponents:

  • The US senate was divided between people who supported Slavery’s continuation and people who are against it(abolitionists)

Growth of the Abolition Movement:

  • Increasingly, the northerners became more polarized against slavery. Sympathies began to grow for abolitionists and against slavery and slaveholders.

The election of Abraham Lincoln:

Even though things were already coming to a head, when Lincoln was elected in 1860, South Carolina issued its “Declaration of the Causes of Secession.” They believed that Lincoln was anti-slavery and in favor of Northern interests. Before Lincoln was even president, seven states had seceded from the Union


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