During the decade of the 1850s, crisis seemed to pile upon crisis as levels of anger turned to rage, and rage turned to violence. The immediate cause of Southern secession, therefore, was a fear that Lincoln and the Republican Congress would have abolished the institution of slavery—which would have ruined fortunes, wrecked the Southern economy and left the South to contend with millions of freed blacks. Later, South Carolina legislators acted on this assertion and defied the federal government to overrule them, lest the state secede. What led to the outbreak of the bloodiest conflict in the history of North America? It wasn’t their slaves they were defending, it was their homes against the specter of slaves-gone-wild. Territorial Gain. Much of the Southern apprehension and ire that Lincoln would free the slaves was misplaced. Start studying Long Term/ Immediate Causes of the Civil War. The crisis was defused only when President Andrew Jackson sent warships into Charleston Harbor—but it also marked the first time a Southern state had threatened to secede from the Union. The federal government denied states this right. A Constitutional Union party also appeared, looking for votes from moderates in the Border States. Brown’s raid thus became a step on the road to war between the sections. Definition and Examples, Order of Secession During the American Civil War, The History of the Three-Fifths Compromise. One abolitionist in particular became famous—or infamous, depending on the point of view—for battles that caused the deaths of pro-slavery settlers in Kansas. Nicholson. On the night of October 16, 1859, Brown and a band of followers seized the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), in what is believed to have been an attempt to arm a slave insurrection. From that first miserable boatload of Africans in Jamestown, slavery spread to all the settlements, and, after the Revolutionary War, was established by laws in the states. It is amazing that even today, nearly 150 years after the Civil War started, there is passionate debate regarding the "cause" of the Civil War. The Missouri Compromise Contrary to its intentions, the act actually galvanized Northern sentiments against slavery because it seemed to demand direct assent to, and personal complicity with, the practice of human bondage. Smart money might have concluded it would be wise for the South to build its own cotton mills and its own manufactories, but its people were too attached to growing cotton. Jackson had vowed to send an army to force the state to stay in the Union, and Congress authorized him to raise such an army (all Southern senators walked out in protest before the vote was taken), but a compromise prevented the confrontation from occurring. Debates concerning the true causes of the Civil War are unlikely to cease. Any man who takes it upon himself to explain the causes of the Civil War deserves whatever grief comes his way, regardless of his good intentions. The first organized government in the U.S. after the Revolution was under the Articles of Confederation. States’ Rights refers To the struggle between the federal government and individual states over political power. Strong proponents of states rights like Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry were not present at this meeting. nycolee nycolee 09/15/2016 Social Studies Middle School +5 pts. Ask your question. ), Irreconcilable Differences Yeats wrote his short po… And as the murders and massacres began to pile up, newspapers throughout the land carried headlines of “Bleeding Kansas.”. While some of these differences might have been resolved peacefully through diplomacy, the institution of slavery was not among them. In 1854 the Kansas-Nebraska Act, sponsored by frequent presidential candidate Stephen A. Douglas, overturned the Missouri Compromise and permitted settlers in the Kansas Territory to choose for themselves whether they wanted a free or slave state. Then along came Eli Whitney with his cotton gin, suddenly making it feasible to grow short-staple cotton that was fit for the great textile mills of England and France. (Brown denied this at his trial, but evidence indicated otherwise.) All the resenting and seething naturally continued to spill over into politics. Get inside articles from the world's premier publisher of history magazines. By the 1840s, the abolitionists had decided that slavery was not simply a social evil, but a “moral wrong,” and began to agitate on that basis. In the halls of Congress, the slavery issue had prompted feuds, insults, duels and finally a divisive gag rule that forbade even discussion or debate on petitions about the issue of slavery. In 1850, to the consternation of Southerners, California was admitted into the Union as a free state—mainly because the Gold Rush miners did not want to find themselves in competition with slave labor. A country might decide that it needs more land, either for living space, agricultural … The fugitive slave act along with the publishing of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin helped expand the support for abolishing slavery nationwide. Dan Bullock died at age 15 in 1969 and efforts to recognize the young African-American Marine continue and are highlighted in this Military Times documentary. government asserted that right by seizing federal property within its states’ borders. A visitor in the 1830s described the relentless cycle of the planters’ misallocation of spare capital: “To sell cotton to buy Negroes—to make more cotton to buy more Negroes—‘ad infinitum.’”. However, a growing movement to abolish slavery had led many Northern states to enact abolitionist laws and abandon enslavement. Statistical View of the United States, Compendium of the Seventh Census. The presidential election of 1860 would be the deciding point for the Union. The long-term cause was a feeling by most Southerners that the interests of the two sections of the country had drifted apart, and were no longer mutual or worthwhile. Then in 1859, John Brown, of Bleeding Kansas notoriety, staged a murderous raid on the U.S. arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Va., hoping to inspire a general slave uprising. Additionally, some abolitionists took a less peaceful route to fighting against slavery. There is the possibility that war might have been avoided, and a solution worked out, had there not been so much mistrust on the part of the South. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The burning issue that led to the disruption of the union was the debate over the future of slavery. That prompted an obscure congressman from Pennsylvania to submit an amendment to a Mexican War funding bill in 1846 that would have prevented slavery in any territory acquired from Mexico—which became known, after its author, as the Wilmot Proviso. Even though it failed to pass into law, the very act of presenting the measure became a cause célèbre among Southerners who viewed it as further evidence that Northerners were not only out to destroy their “peculiar institution,” but their political power as well. War had begun. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabins was published in serial form in an anti-slavery newspaper in 1851 and in book format in 1852. This in turn, 40 years later, prompted South Carolina’s prominent senator John C. Calhoun to declare that slavery—far from being merely a “necessary evil”—was actually a “positive good,” because, among other things, in the years since the gin’s invention, the South had become fabulously rich, with cotton constituting some 80 percent of all U.S. exports. Even when the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1789, very few Black people and no enslaved people were allowed to vote or own property. One of the most polarizing episodes between North and South occurred upon the 1852 publication of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which depicted the slave’s life as a relentless nightmare of sorrow and cruelty. Increasingly, Northerners became more polarized against enslavement. Our line of historical magazines includes America's Civil War, American History, Aviation History, Civil War Times, Military History, MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, Vietnam, Wild West and World War II. That is not to say the average Confederate soldier fought to preserve slavery or the average Union soldier went to war to end slavery. States’ Rights Another 40% mentioned identity and tribal divisions, while less than one in three adult Liberians mentioned poverty (30%), and inequalities (27%). In Kansas, particularly, violent clashes between proponents of the two ideologies occurred. Lincoln was an avowed opponent of the expansion of slavery but said he would not interfere with it where it existed. What Really Caused The Nigerian Civil War. In 1856, Charles Sumner, a 45-year-old Massachusetts senator and abolitionist, conducted a three-hour rant in the Senate chamber against the Kansas-Nebraska Act, focusing in particular on 59-year-old South Carolina Senator Andrew Butler, whom he mocked and compared to a pimp, “having taken as his mistress the harlot, Slavery.” Two days later Congressman Preston Brooks, a nephew of the demeaned South Carolinian, appeared beside Sumner’s desk in the Senate and caned him nearly to death with a gold-headed gutta-percha walking stick. At first the abolitionists concluded that the best solution was to send the slaves back to Africa, and they actually acquired land in what is now Liberia, returning a small colony of ex-bondsmen across the ocean. Throughout the North, the caning incident triggered profound indignation that was transformed into support for a new anti-slavery political party. John Brown and his family fought on the anti-slavery side of "Bleeding Kansas." The South simply did not believe him. A number of events helped fuel the cause for abolition in the 1850s. Slavery In America As the crucial election of 1860 approached, there arose talk of Southern secession by a group of “fire-eaters”— influential orators who insisted Northern “fanatics” intended to free slaves “by law if possible, by force if necessary.” Hectoring abolitionist newspapers and Northern orators (known as Black, or Radical Republicans) provided ample fodder for that conclusion. At 2:30 p.m. the following day, Major Anderson surrendered. Additional territories gained from the U.S.–Mexican War of 1846–1848 heightened the slavery debate. Type or write down the relevant dates and a brief description of each of the The 13 states formed a loose Confederation with a very weak federal government. For a time it appeared the practice was on its way to extinction. Many in the North came to view enslavement as not just socially unjust, but morally wrong. (Rodney Bryant and Daniel Woolfolk/Military Times)... HistoryNet, Homepage Featured Top Stories, Homepage Hero, Mag: Military History Featured, Military History Magazine. When the Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 presidential election, Southern fears that the Republicans would abolish slavery reached a new peak. Some Southern historians in the past have argued this was the root cause of the Civil War. Washington: Beverley Tucker, 1854. But the U.S. Senate, by a sort of gentleman’s agreement laced with the usual bribes and threats, had remained 50-50, meaning that whenever a territory was admitted as a free state, the South got to add a corresponding slave state—and vice versa. All of the issues of the young nation were dividing the political parties and reshaping the established two-party system of Whigs and Democrats. The South, however, continued to hold onto a social order based on white supremacy in both private and political life, not unlike that under the rule of racial apartheid that persisted in South Africa for decades. The main conflict that sparked the war was the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in 1861. When Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1793, cotton became very profitable. It wasn’t, but it was a critical ingredient in the suspicion and mistrust Southerners were beginning to feel about their Northern brethren, and by extension about the Union itself. During the Mexican War, the debate began about what would happen with the new territories the U.S. expected to gain upon victory. On April 12, the Confederates opened fire with cannons. The states of the North, meanwhile, one by one had gradually abolished slavery. The question “what caused the U.S. Civil War?” has been debated since the horrific conflict ended in 1865. Even though things were already near a boiling point after Lincoln was elected, South Carolina issued its "Declaration of the Causes of Secession" on December 24, 1860. “Because of incompatibility of temper,” a Southern woman was prompted to lament, “we have hated each other so. Harriet Beecher Stowe Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1864. Northern passions were inflamed while furious Southerners dismissed the story en masse as an outrageously skewed and unfair portrayal. It is probably safe to say that the original impetus of the Civil War was set in motion when a Dutch trader offloaded a cargo of African slaves at Jamestown, Va., in 1619. (After the conflict began it was said that Lincoln, upon meeting Mrs. Stowe, remarked, “So you are the little lady who started this great war?”). Liberia Civil War. These influential journals, from Richmond to Charleston and myriad points in between, painted a sensational picture of Lincoln in words and cartoons as an arch-abolitionist—a kind of antichrist who would turn the slaves loose to rape, murder and pillage. For nearly a century, the people and politicians of the Northern and Southern states had been clashing over the issues that finally led to war: economic interests, cultural values, the power of the federal government to control the states, and, most importantly, slavery in American society. Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee, refusing to fight against other Southern states and feeling that Lincoln had exceeded his presidential authority, reversed themselves and voted in favor of session. Equally outraged Southerners sent their own settlers, and a brutish group known as Border Ruffians from slaveholding Missouri went into Kansas to make trouble for the abolitionists. When Lincoln was … Slavery was interwoven into the Southern economy even though only a relatively small portion of the population actually owned slaves. Causes for the outbreak of Civil War existed in plenty and one of the most prominent among them was the prevalence of slavery in the United States during this period. Over the years this group became stronger and by the 1820s had turned into a full-fledged movement, preaching abolition from pulpits and podiums throughout the North, publishing pamphlets and newspapers, and generally stirring up sentiments both fair and foul in the halls of Congress and elsewhere. Please note: The audio information from the video is included in the text below. Besides denying citizenship for African-Americans, it also overturned the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which had restricted slavery in certain U.S. territories. Having acknowledged that, let me also say I have long believed there is no more concise or stirring accounting for the war than the sentiments propounded by Irish poet William Butler Yeats in “The Second Coming,” some lines of which are included in this essay. African American History Timeline: 1700 - 1799, The Hoax That a Tariff Provoked the Civil War, Opposition to Reconstruction: The Rise of the KKK and Other Hate Groups, The National Association of Colored Women, Black Representation in Government: Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisolm, and more, Police Racism, Violence, and Black Lives Matter, Statistical View of the United States, Compendium of the Seventh Census, Statistical view of the United States in 1850, Population of the United States 1860: Compiled from the Original Returns of the 8th Census. The immediate provocation for secession of the states, which led to the war, was the election of. Immediate causes of the civil war. The raid was thwarted by U.S. troops, and Brown was tried for treason If we could only separate, a ‘separation a l’agreable,’ as the French say it, and not have a horrid fight for divorce.”. New What Was The Immediate Cause Of The Civil War Pictures. With the addition of Minnesota (1858) and Oregon (1859) as free states, the Southerners’ greatest fears were about to be realized—complete control of the federal government by free-state, anti-slavery politicians. Within two years it was a nationwide and worldwide bestseller. Ownership of more than a handful of slaves bestowed respect and contributed to social position, and slaves, as the property of individuals and businesses, represented the largest portion of the region’s personal and corporate wealth, as cotton and land prices declined and the price of slaves soared. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The famous Dred Scott Decision in 1857 denied his request stating that no person with African blood could become a U.S. citizen. Immediate Cause of the Civil War: Lincoln’s Election & Secession of the South Direction: Read the enclosed Newsletter “ Lincoln’s Election and the Secession of the South” on pages 2-3. As a practical matter, all of this assured a victory for the Republican candidate, Abraham Lincoln, who was widely, if wrongly, viewed in the South as a rabid abolitionist. DeBow, J.D.B. Some fought on moral grounds. Dred Scott was a slave who sought citizenship through the American legal system, and whose case eventually ended up in the Supreme Court. Though it was often supported throughout the social and economic classes, not every white Southerner enslaved people. “States’ rights” also became a Southern watchword for Northern (or “Yankee”) intrusion on the Southern lifestyle. Abolitionists fought to have slavery declared illegal in those territories, as the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 had done in the territory that became the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Ask your question. Russian Civil War (1918–20), conflict in which the Red Army successfully defended the newly formed Bolshevik government led by Vladimir Lenin against various Russian and interventionist anti-Bolshevik armies.