• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What was the short term significance of the maintenance of slavery in the southern states to the outbreak of the US Civil War?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐What was the short term significance of the maintenance of slavery in the southern states to the outbreak of the US Civil War? Arguably the main factor concerning the outbreak of the US Civil War in 1861 was the dispute over slavery involving the Northern (anti slavery states) and the Southern (pro slavery) states. Slavery was an integral part of the South and their culture. Although slavery had been called to ?stop spreading? by Abraham Lincoln and was respected in the North, the South still practiced it freely and legally. Both the North and South were driven by Thomas Jefferson?s beliefs to form their campaign for and against slavery. The North believed that in the words of Jefferson ?all men are created equal? and this included slaves. The South however used the state rights mentioned in Jefferson?s ?Kentucky resolutions? to defend slavery. It is clear that Slavery was a main factor in the cause of Secession and the formation of the Confederacy. Responses to the Civil War and the causes of the conflict have evolved over time. For instance early historians such as Rhodes argue that Slavery was the sole cause. It is however later historians such as Beard who offer an alternative perspective and perhaps a wider more contextual view as to why the Civil War happened. ...read more.

Middle

Another factor involving slavery was the publication of the novel ?Uncle Tom?s Cabin? by Stowe of which its anti slave theme throughout sparked more anti slave feelings in the Northern union of America. The impact of this novel alone led to Lincoln reportedly exclaiming when he saw her, ?so this is the little lady who caused this big war?[4]. This shows the importance that the book held upon the nation and the emotions it stirred between the Northern and Southern states at this crucial time. The South of course would dismiss the messages of the book. A review by the Southern Literary Messenger (1852) makes it clear that the novel is nothing more than ?fiction?. ?It is a fiction throughout; a fiction in form; a fiction in its facts; a fiction in its representations and colouring; a fiction in its morals and religion and with regard to the subjects it is designed to expound and with respect to the manner of their exposition. It is a fiction?.[5] John Brown may have also sparked off civil war hostile attitudes regarding slavery after his raid on Harpers Ferry in an attempt to stop slavery. This is the first example of physical oppression even if in this case unsuccessful. Brown would in his attempt try to free the slaves with a seizure of a southern armoury. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is therefore clear that the maintenance of slavery played an integral part in the cause of the US Civil War. Although some opinions as illustrated through Jefferson Davis and Charles Beard would suggest it is a matter of less importance, it is still admittedly an integral factor in the cause of conflict. The importance of slavery industrially, culturally and also the significance of maintaining it to keep some integrity against the ever intimidating North were all key aspects to the short term contribution which caused the Civil War. Rhodes and Farmer however highlight the importance of slavery as the key feature in the cause of conflict. The aspiration and opportunities slavery provided to the south allowed them to fight and die for slavery willingly. The Northern opposition to the South?s continuous maintenance and practice of slavery was inevitably going to cause a conflict. ________________ [1] American Civil War 1861 A- Farmer [2] American Civil War 1861 A- Farmer [3] The American Civil War ? Parish [4] Uncle Tom?s Cabin ? response to book ? Stowe ? Google scholar [5] Uncle Tom?s Cabin ? response to book ? Stowe ? Google scholar [6] Wikipedia article on John Brown and Harpers Ferry. [7] The American Civil War 1861 A - Farmer [8] The American Civil War 1861 A - Farmer ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 essays

  1. The abolition of slavery 1833.

    There are many things that have created slavery but also many things to abolish it. Historians have identified a number of factors that contributed to the abolition of slavery, Some were due to the actions of slaves and working class white people in Britain, where as some were due to the economical factors.

  2. Political Causes of the Civil War

    and in fact viewed a strong central government as a threat to their independence and local economy. The Southern states firmly believed that each State should govern themselves and create its own laws. Lincoln was keenly aware that Southern states felt threatened by his presidency, and he tried to allay

  1. Was there any truth in the Southern claim that slavery was both a benign ...

    Slaveholding enabled the plantation owners to increase their cotton acreage and consequently their profits. As the demand for slaves continued in the 1850s, slave prices rose, suggesting they were a good investment to make. It has been argued that the South would have benefited from investing in manufacturing and transport

  2. Why did Lincoln's election in 1860 lead to Civil War in 1861?

    The politics of 1861 had moved slightly away from debate of slave ownership and more towards north and south trying to convince the upper 8 southern states to remain in or leave the Union respectively. Both north and south realised that any excessive conflict over secession could lead to the upper south making a definite decision.

  1. To what extent do you agree with Abraham Lincoln that slavery was 'somehow the ...

    the cause of the conflict, but only an incident' Alexander Stephens said at the time that slavery was the 'cornerstone' of the Confederacy and that 'the Confederate states chose to secede to try to preserve their 'peculiar institution'3 . the peculiar institution he was referring to was slavery.

  2. A face to remember

    Tom Carhart spoke out and firmly believed that the idea of the American flag and a sculpture would show a reflection of heroism and he and others would be content with those objects. Lin thought that it would rip a part the meaning of the memorial, but had no choice to agree.

  1. How the novel "Jubilee" shows the changes in southern society caused by the American ...

    Some families though never made it to this point because most men were not alive which is why there was a major impact on social structure. When slavery was still happening, African American men were to work in the plantations growing crops while white soldiers were fighting in the war.

  2. Civil Rights Revision Cards 1945-68

    ? wanted better standard of living for poor and end to ghettos 2. Tactics would be nationwide civil disobedience ? occupy gov buildings, boycott businesses, march on Washington Impact? 1. Marked a move towards a more radical approach from MLK 2.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work