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

The Civil War was not inevitable; it was the result of extremism and failures of leadership on both sides Discuss.

Extracts from this document...


Alice Wang IB HOA 1 DBQ Civil War :) Inevitability of Civil War Validity "The Civil War was not inevitable; it was the result of extremism and failures of leadership on both sides" The Civil War was mainly based on the different ideological beliefs of slavery between the North and the South. Almost all sectional conflicts such as the Nullification Crisis and Kansas-Nebraska Act revolved around slavery issues, which can been traced back to the earliest years of American colonization. With a Southern agrarian economy in contrast to a Northern industrial economy, the South felt threatened and felt that slavery was the only stable force that kept its economy grounded. Furthermore, prominent Southern and Northern politicians convinced the mainstream to follow their extremist and biased beliefs, further dividing the two regions. With slavery underlying the South's desire to seek independence, state rights, and ultimately the continuation of southern culture, succession was unavoidable. The Civil War was inevitable because of the result of extremism and failures of leadership on both sides. The presence of slavery had slowly built up sectionalist tensions between the North and South during the 19th century. The history and economy of the North were very different from those of the South. While the North developed booming factories, the South built large cotton plantations. By the early 1800s, Northern factories were producing many of those same goods as the South. ...read more.


Tensions arose when Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois repealed the line imposed by the Missouri Compromise by passing the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Senator Douglas (Document D) felt that Kansas and Nebraska should have a right to be subjected to popular sovereignty like the other western territories. The Kansas-Nebraska Act resulted in the establishment of two opposing legislatures within the Kansas territory, further heightening the tensions between the North and South. Violence soon erupted, with the anti-slavery forces led by John Brown (Document H) against the pro-slavery settlers. Because President Franklin Pierce was more biased toward the pro-slavery legislature, he sent in Federal troops to stop the violence and disperse the anti-slavery legislature. Stephen Douglas's poor decision making resulted in increased sectionalist beliefs between the North and the South. Although the majority of the American people including many moderate politicians like Abraham Lincoln (Document F) wanted to avoid the Civil War and were content to allow slavery to die a slow, inevitable death, the most influential political leaders of the 19th century were not. The South had an economic interest in the spread of slavery to the new territories so that new slave states could be created and the South's political influence would remain strong. The North had an interest in limiting the spread of slavery into the new territories for both purposes of controlling Southern political power. Also, while Southern politicians believed that they were guaranteed the "right" to own slaves, Northern abolitionists believed that slavery offended their moral and ethical principles. ...read more.


They also stated that the federal government was not permitted to interfere with slavery in those states where it already existed. They felt that a strict constructionist interpretation of the Constitution in conjunction with nullification, or secession would protect their way of life. Therefore, South Carolina decided to write A Declaration of the Causes (Document I). Because of the threat that the North imposed to the South, the South felt that secession was inevitable to maintain their agrarian economy secure. The Civil War was triggered by the extremism of both pro-slavery and anti-slavery parties and the sectionalist beliefs that influential politicians engraved on the minds of the majority. The existence of slavery was the key component that initiated tensions between the North and South; if there were no disagreements over slavery, the Civil War could have been avoidable. With the contrast of an industrial and agricultural economy, the South felt threatened by the balance of power between the two regions. Because the South felt that slavery was crucial to their economic stability, succession felt inevitable to them. Moreover, Southern politicians and Northern abolitionists further aggravated the division of the two regions by exposing sectionalist beliefs to the mainstream that would otherwise have been ignored. Because slavery underlined the South's desire to seek independence, state rights, and ultimately the continuation of southern culture, succession was inevitable. Lincoln once said that "A house divided against itself cannot stand....this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free (Document F)." Lincoln knew that because slavery formed two opposing divisions and that slavery could never be abolished, the Civil War was inevitable. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. the causes and consequences of the spanish civil war

    down such riots which the government, and the previous ones themselves could not do. The general elections of February 1936 did not solve anything. It was really done in a last minute attempt to avoid a serious crisis. In this election, the Popular Front won and Azana, once again became prime minister.

  2. How did the American anticommunism beliefs help advance the civil rights movement in the ...

    Hoover's racial outlook on these suspects also came from his white, conservative, Southern background. Hoover's influence on the American public allowed more segregation and discrimination towards the black citizens, which caused more paranoia and accusations These accusations were supported by the actions of the HUAC, the House of Un-American Activities

  1. Absolutism DBQ

    Even though Charles tried to convert countries to Anglicanism, he was viewed as a Catholic sympathizer because he made peace with both Spain and France, both of which were officially Catholic countries. Because he made peace with Spain and France, Charles was viewed as a hypocrite and people of both countries feared that Charles would demand the conversion to Catholicism.

  2. Compare and Contrast the Democratic Successes and Failures of Andrew Jackson and Nelson Mandela

    The Cherokees refused and brought their case to Supreme Court. Although John Marshall, Chief Justice at the time, sided with the Cherokees in two cases (Cherokee Nation vs. Georgia and Worcester vs. Georgia), Andrew Jackson refused to comply with the Court's decision and is reputed to have sneered, "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it."

  1. The cold war - the conferences and the start of the cCold War

    200 thousand Hungarians fled to Austria. Nagy and his fellow leaders were put in prisons and executed - Conclusions; 1) Perhaps it was that Nagy planned to take Hungary out of the Warsaw Pact and to be neutral in the Cold War which was the critical cause of the Soviet action 2)

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    Israeli forced drew back to the Awali River and by 1984, back to their security zone in the south, which they still controlled. Israel's withdrawal was complete by 1985 - Arafat escaped alive, with around 14 000 PLO fighters, and set up base in Tunis The significance of the war

  1. Notes on the Causes of the American Civil War

    10% worked on tobacco 7. 10% worked in sugar, rice and hemp 8. 15% worked as domestic servants The Nature of Slavery- Mild view 1. Slaves did not work harder than most free Americans 2. Flogging were rare, if only because the slave owners had vested interested in care of property 3.

  2. Expansion of Slavery and its Role in the US Civil War

    Federal policies in attempt to completely solve the conflict with slavery, for example, (3) the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 worsened the tensions regarding the expansion of slavery, as the result foreshadowed the impending war. Stephen A. Douglas proposed the Kansas-Nebraska Bill that stipulated that popular sovereignty, would decide whether slavery is allowed or not.

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