Account for the outbreak of the Civil War in America in the mid-nineteenth century

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Account for the outbreak of the Civil War in America in the mid-nineteenth century


The causes of the civil war were a complex series of events. As conflicting pressures, principles and prejudices fueled political, social, and economic differences, this feud between the Northern and Southern states turned into America's bloodiest conflict, the Civil War.

The existence of slavery was the central element of the conflict between the North and South, and the source of many problems for America in the mid-nineteenth century, and ultimately split the nation into two opposed sides. The North and South could not come to an agreement. Either Slavery be approved or abolished.

As the South was an agrarian society, the slave was a big part in the cultivation of cotton on large plantations, which was a profitable enterprise and was needed in order to keep up with the industrialized North.

The slave became an important element of the southern economy. Senator Robert M. T. Hunter of Virginia once said: "There is not a respectable system of civilization known to history whose foundations were not laid in the institution of domestic slavery." The plantation owners in the South could not understand why the North wanted slavery abolished that bad.  

Southerners compared it with the wage-slave system of the North. They said that the slaves were better cared for then the free factory workers in the North. Southerners said that slave owners provided shelter, food, care, and regulation for a race unable to compete in the modern world without proper training. Many Southerners saw slavery as not only more effective but also a way of maintaining equality amongst whites. Without slaves they argued, whites would need to perform menial jobs; with slavery, the Blacks performed such tasks, keeping the whites in a class above. Alexander Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederacy, referring to the Confederate government: "Its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery... is his natural and normal condition."

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The Southerners were critical of the Northern working conditions where whites did manual work in harsh conditions in factories, claiming this created inequality among whites and was therefore contrary to American ideals. They believed that it was the Northern workers that wanted change and not the slaves.

This became an institution Southerners felt bound to protect. If slavery were abolished, the South would need to become industrialized and use capital equipment such as machines to plant seeds and water the land, instead of using slave labor. The South would need to purchase the equipment from the North, which would ...

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