Explain the principle events of the preceding ten years or so that led the eleven slaveowning southern American states to secede from the union in 1861.

Authors Avatar

Explain the principle events of the preceding ten years or so that led the eleven slaveowning southern American states to secede from the union in 1861.

        There were many factors which led to the southern states of America to break away from the union in 1861. There had been previous problems between the north and south in America, but these issues could not be resolved with methods that were tried, so led to the outbreak of the American civil war, when the south left the union in 1861. The main factor which led to the southern states seceding from the union was the laws relating to slavery. Slavery was the biggest industry within the southern states of America and a lot was done within the previous ten years leading up to 1861 to try and prevent slavery, which had a major impact within the south, because they could not live with all the events that had happened, so broke away from the union and the civil war begun to try and cry this.

From the 1840s in America there was a strong feeling of anti-slavery in the northern states of America. The anti-slavery feeling was not on the moral grounds of it being wrong and immoral, but because slaves threatened the livelihood of many white Americans in the north, because they were free labour, and so they were being forced to undertake most of the work, and this threatened the chances of the white Americans in the north from getting work. They did not like the power of the slave holders in the south who dominated congress, and so wanted something done which would prevent the spread of slavery from the south into the north.

The main industry within America was the cotton industry. As the cotton industry expanded, the need for slavery also expanded and more slaves were needed to keep up with the demand for it. As the demand for cotton increased, so did the feeling that slavery was a necessity, because they were free labour. Cotton owners were making big profits, with the huge demand for cotton, and they did not have to pay the black slaves who were doing most of the labour for them. However, the northern States of America did not want slavery to expand westward. However, in 1820, the Mason-Dixon Line was introduced and this prohibited the movement of slavery westward. There was an east/west divide between the states in America about the movement of slavery, and states above the Mason-Dixon Line prohibited slavery. This decision was decided when; Missouri applied to become a state of America.

“Missouri Compromise (1820), in U.S. history, measure worked out between the north and the south and passed by congress by the U.S. Congress that allowed for admission of Missouri as the 24th state (1821). It marked the beginning of the prolonged sectional conflict over the extension of slavery that led to the American civil war.” (‘Missouri Compromise’)  Missouri first applied to be a state, in 1817, but it was not until 1819 when congress was considering legislation to allow Missouri to become a state. However,

Join now!

“When Representative James Tallmadge of New York attempted to add an anti-slavery amendment to that legislation, however there ensued an ugly and rancorous debate over slavery and the government’s right to restrict slavery.” (‘Missouri Compromise’)  This legislation prohibited the introduction of slaves into Missouri and ‘provided for further emancipation of those already there when they reached the age of 25.’  (‘Missouri Compromise’)  This piece of legislation went to the House of Representatives, where it was passed. This was probably because the House of Representatives were largely controlled by the people of the North, who had anti-slavery tendencies, because they did ...

This is a preview of the whole essay