Dr. Hopkins



Camila Acuna

Factorthat led to the Civil War

The Northern and the Southern regions were created by the variousfactors that divided the two nations. In this case, the North wasknown for their widespread industrialization that supported theireconomy. The Southern side practiced agrarianagriculture, and when the North suggested the abolition ofslavery they were more likely to suffer from such decisions. Forinstance, they would have lacked the labor to work on their farms.Hence, they opposed the decision to end slavery trade. From thatpoint, the tension between North and South intensified as they triedto find common ground and settle all their problems. However, variousfactors kept pushing them back and increased the tension that led tothe Civil War. More specifically, the election of Abraham Lincolnmeant that the Southern states would suffer since he was againstslavery. Hence, the South knew that the government would judge themunfairly and work towards abolishing slavery. In some cases, theSouth even believed that the Union was using the federal governmentto manipulate them. Instead, the Southern region wanted the states’rights that will help them in implementing legislations that weremore favorable. More importantly, they wanted to protect theirinterests in the slave trade and make sure that they were able tosecure their agricultural sector as well. The scenario escalatedduring the Southern secession when various states began dissolvingtheir contracts with the federal government. Lincoln’s attempts topersuade the Southern states were met by hostility since most of themwere reluctant to join the union again. The incidence at Fort Sumterled to the increased violence that facilitated the war since itstarted the confrontation between the two sides. This essay willreveal the factors that intensified the tension between theNortherners and the Southerners leading to the Civil War.

The increased tension in the North, as well as the South region, ledto the Civil War. In this case, the tension arose from the fact thatthe North was an industrialized part while the south had embracedagrarian agriculture. The South opposed the idea of abolishingslavery since they relied on their labor in preparing the farms.Without the slaves, their economy will more likely crumble, and theywill lack the means to support their farming activities. In fact, theninth document that was a Memorandum, from Seward to Lincoln,entitled &quotSome thoughts for the President`s consideration,&quotApril 1. 1861 shows how slavery was a common dispute between thetwo regions and they were unable to find common ground. The documenteven reveals how the two sides had a dispute and the South threatenedto leave the union since it felt intimidated1.More specifically, it shows that the South has its reasons, and moreimportantly, the issue of labor in the farms was the critical one.The North could not lose a lot if the slavery was abolished. Instead,they had begun the industrial revolution that was clearly catching upand supporting the economy. Hence, they were less likely to feel theadverse impact of the abolition, and they were on the frontline inurging the other states to support the course. The document shows howthe politicians tried to compare their local ideologies to theinternational assumptions on slavery. Some of the other nations hadabolished slavery because of the inhumane conditions that the victimshad to undergo. As a result, it was more likely that they will adoptthe same approach even if the South was reluctant to do so.

The election of Abraham Lincoln was another factor that intensifiedthe tension between the South and the North. More importantly, thetwo sides had disagreed on whether to abolish slavery or not. Thescenario created a dispute and the South even threatened to move outof the union. They wanted the North to consider their concerns beforethey abolish the slavery trade that clearly supported their economy.In this case, Lincoln had shown that he does not support slavery andhis election was facilitated with such ideologies. Hence, the stepwas a concern to the South region since they knew that Lincoln wouldintensify the pressure to end the slavery. The first document thatcaptures the Excerpts from Lincoln`s Inaugural Address, March 4,1861, reveals the reasons why he discouraged slavery in thenation. Lincoln wanted a nation that facilitated equality and did notundermine anyone in the nation based on their position in thesociety. In fact, the document reveals how he talked about the rightsof the freemen, and how they should not be forced to work as slavesagain since the laws protect them2.The inaugural address also reveals how he urges the two sides to usepeaceful agreements in solving any issues that they might have.However, the South knew that a president that was against slaverywould be an obstacle in their activities. The South felt threatened,and they knew that the pressure from the president would most likelymake them lose. Hence, they knew that the talks would not help themin reaching a common ground. Instead, they knew that war was the onlything that would have assisted them in revealing their frustrationsand fighting for what they believed was right.

The struggle between each state and the federal government is alsoanother issue that increased the tension. More specifically, thesouthern states believed that the Northerners had the support ofPresident Lincoln that was against slavery. In this case, theybelieved that the federal government was unfair and did not look atthe issue from both perspectives. The scenario led to the strugglebetween the two sides since the southerners wanted the individualstates wanted more authority while the Union suggested the federalgovernment to retain its powers. The confrontation turned out to bemore problematic since the two parts kept debating on the appropriatecourse of action to undertake. From the Diary of John Hay,Lincoln`s personal secretary, Oct. 22, 1861, showed how thefederal government had authority over the states. For instance, heasked the states for their response to the Fort Sumter incident andmost of the members of the Southerners Committee did not comply withLincoln’s demands. In fact, Fort Sumter was one of the incidentsthat displayed how the Southern states did not want the federalgovernment to control them3.The fort housed officials and documents that addressed issues thatthe federal government covered. However, the Southerners felt thatthe federal government did not have any right to force them toabolish slavery. They believed that they had the responsibility todecide what was right and wrong. In the process, none of them wasready to discuss with the other party and identify the right courseof action to undertake. The Northerners felt like the other side hadundermined the authority that is supposed to govern them. On theother hand, the Southerners believed that the federal government wasbeing unfair. All in all, the states’ rights became a huge problembetween the two sides as they were unable to reach a compromiseinstead.

As the tension between the two groups intensified, the abolitionists’movement became more influential and they disagreed with the ideasthat the Southern states suggested. In this case, they wanted thefugitive to be considered as freed men regardless of the state theywent to. Instead, the South states were not ready to consider thefugitives as the freedmen since they still wanted them as slaves inthe region. The abolition movement wanted the Southern states to endthe slavery and make sure that the place considered the morals thatfacilitated the equality and the freedom of the people. The Excerptfrom a Letter, C. S. Morehead to John J. Crittenden, Feb. 23, 1862,shows how the delegates arranged for a meeting together withLincoln. In the process, they were unable to reach a compromise sincethe abolitionists had persuaded Lincoln to ignore the demands thatthe Southerners made. In this case, the delegates tried to reasonwith Lincoln but, he maintained the same stand that showed how hewanted to end slavery instead4.More importantly, the confrontation between the Abolitionists and theSouth states increased the tension between them and led to the CivilWar in the end.

The Southern secession was another issue that facilitated the tensionbetween the two sides and leading to the war. More importantly, SouthCarolina led the other states in dissolving the contract it hadcreated with the United States. The scenario captured thefrustrations of the Southern States and how they felt like the Uniondid not consider any of their concerns. They felt like they had togovern themselves and make rules and legislations that willincorporate their needs as well. The Letter from ConfederateCommissioners to the President of the United States (Martin Crawford,John Forsyth, and A.B. Roman) to Robert Toombs, Secretary of State ofthe Confederacy, March 8, 1861, captures the events that led tothe secession. In this case, the letter reveals that the south wasless likely to abolish the slavery, and they were willing to doanything to support their course. For instance, the letter refers tothe south as the “people of the cotton states” to illustrate howthey relied on the slaves to have enough labor to work on theirfarms5.Hence, the states had decided to rebel leading to the collapse of theUnion that has kept them together all that time. After South Carolinehad moved out of the Union, the document reveals that other statesfollowed the same course in showing their frustrations. The lack of acompromise had led to Florida, Alabama and even Texas canceling outtheir contracts with the United States. The current scenario provedthat the Northern and the Southerners were unable to reach acompromise and there was the need to settle their problems beforethings got out of hand. Lincoln even tried in winning the states backagain and persuaded them to join the Union, and focus on improvingtheir relations but, they were reluctant.

The Fort Sumter incident pushed the Union to respond and the scenarioresulted in the war since it started the violent confrontationsbetween the two sides. On that specific day, the Northern forces weretransporting the supply to cater for the federal garrison in the FortSumter. However, the Confederate forces interfered with their journeyand forced the fort’s commander to surrender. The commander, whowas Major Robert Anderson, did not comply with their demands and theyhad to open fire before he complied. At this point, the Southernrebellion had already begun, and Lincoln tried to intervene whilebegging the states to respect the union instead. In fact, the Letterfrom Lincoln to each member of cabinet, March 15, 1861, with briefexcerpts from their replies reveals how the Fort Sumter incidentwent down. In this case, Lincoln consults the members of the cabinet,and he wants to know the appropriate decisions that they should makein that particular instance. The document also provides relevantinformation on how Lincoln was able to engage with the other cabinetmembers to find an appropriate solution to the standoff6.The replies from the members’ reveal how they were uncertain andsome of them still considered the continued discussions to reach acompromise. However, some of the members such as Blair suggested thatthe Union had to attack the Confederates forces to justify theirauthority in the nation7.Some of them even wanted Lincoln to reinforce the fort while otherssuggested evacuation to prevent further violence and incitement.Other members such as Bates showed their reluctance in certifying thebeginning of the Civil War. All in all, the scenario illustrated oneof the confrontations that led to the war since the Confederatesdecided to attack the Union that responded promptly.

In conclusion, the slavery, states’ rights, the election ofLincoln, south secession and the incident at the Fort Sumter are someof the key issues that led to the Civil War. More specifically, theslavery was an issue that created the differences between the twosides. In particular, the South was known to practice the agrarianagriculture while the North relied on industrialization. The scenarioshowed that the South would have lost a lot if the slavery wasabolished. For instance, they were less likely to have enough laborto work on their farms. Hence, the election of Lincoln that opposedslavery also made the scenario worse since he did not support theSouthern states. In the process, the South felt like the federalgovernment was undermining their decisions, and they wanted theirstates’ rights to be considered so that they could implementlegislations that favored their interests. On the other hand, thefederal government rejected the demands, and they wanted the nationalauthority to be prioritized rather than the states’ rights. In thiscase, the South secession followed when the North states werereluctant in considering their concerns. Lincoln tried to interveneand warn the states against moving away since he still wanted them toremain united. In fact, his inaugural address revealed that he wantedthe nation to stay under the same rule despite the differences thatthey might have. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned and theSouthern states had decided to move away, and the incident at theFort Sumter was one of the signs. The Confederate forces decided toattack the fort that was one of the points that the federalgovernment controlled its activities in the South. The violentconfrontations led to the Civil war since the Northern responded tothe threats instead.


Excerpt from a Letter, C. S. Morehead to John J. Crittenden, Feb. 23,1862.

Excerpts fromLincoln`s Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861

From the Diary ofJohn Hay, Lincoln`s Personal Secretary, Oct. 22, 1861

Letter from Confederate Commissioners to The President of The UnitedStates (Martin Crawford, John Forsyth And A.B. Roman) To RobertToombs, Secretary of State of the Confederacy, March 8, 1861

Letter from Lincoln to Each Member of Cabinet, March 15, 1861 withBrief Excerpts from their Replies

Memorandum, from Seward to Lincoln, Entitled &quotSome Thoughts ForThe President`s Consideration,&quot April 1. 1861

1 Memorandum, from Seward to Lincoln, Entitled &quotSome Thoughts for The President`s Consideration,&quot April 1. 1861

2 Excerpts from Lincoln`s Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861

3 From the Diary of John Hay, Lincoln`s Personal Secretary, Oct. 22, 1861

4 Excerpt from a Letter, C. S. Morehead to John J. Crittenden, Feb. 23, 1862.

5 Letter from Confederate Commissioners to The President of the United States (Martin Crawford, John Forsyth and A.B. Roman) To Robert Toombs, Secretary of State of the Confederacy, March 8, 1861

6 Letter from Lincoln to Each Member of Cabinet, March 15, 1861 with Brief Excerpts from their Replies

7 Ibid, 6.