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In the years before the American Civil War, the sectional tension between Northern and Southern states was at its peak.

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ASSIGNMENT ONE: Objective 1 Question two In the years before the American Civil War, the sectional tension between Northern and Southern states was at its peak. There were quite a few reasons for this tension but the key issue was slavery. Since the war, many other causes have been considered as the main cause. For example, the 'Progressive' historians argued that it was not so much a fight between North and South, but more of a conflict between agriculture and industry. If this were the case, the issues of tariffs and transport would have been a lot more important. Although these were problems, they did not need a war to settle them. After all, tariffs had been a problem for quite a while. The revisionists believe that the issue of slavery was not a major cause of the war, but the fault of weak leaders who could not reach a compromise. ...read more.


However, although his goal was not to abolish slavery it was all connected. After all, the Southern secession had occurred because of slavery. Slavery was an influential part of Southern everyday life. They needed slaves to pick the cotton, as three quarters of the world's cotton was grown there. The invention of the cotton gin made the cultivation of cotton on large plantations using slave labour a profitable enterprise in the Deep South. The slave became an ever more important element of the southern economy. It became an institution that southerners felt bound to protect. As a result of these new inventions the amount of slaves in the Southern states increased from seventy thousand to four million in less than forty years. This increase meant that the market value of the southern slaves increased to three billion dollars; which was more than its land and cotton's value. ...read more.


More and more emphasis was now placed on maintaining equal numbers of slave and non-slave states in the Senate. As time progressed, the south became more paranoid that they were going to be overruled because of their lack of numbers. The southerners felt that Expansion for the South meant growth, politically, socially, and economically, and it meant more political power. Slavery played an important part in the Civil War. Although it would not be fair to say that slavery was the only cause for war, I do not think that the war would have occurred if slavery had not existed. Even president Lincoln said that slavery was 'somehow the cause'. When war started there were only a few people who were fighting because they thought slavery was morally wrong, but because each section felt that its personal liberty was at stake, and consequently this conflict could not be solved without war. ...read more.

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