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The civil War started in 1861 after 11 Southern states succeeded from the Union. The fight between The Northern and Southern States of America lasted until 1865. 680,000 to 800,000 men died. Slavery, States rights, Lincoln’s election, and the differences between the North and South caused the Civil War because they impacted Americans in a cultural, political, geographical, and sociological way. It seems only reasonable to start with the most prevalent cause of the civil war and that would be the cultural perspective of the Civil War. The South’s economy was based off farming.
In fact, many argue that at this time the South was a one crop-economy. Two-thirds of Southerners owned no slaves, but because of the persistent need to keep up the farms, slavery was embedded into the economy. Starting way before the war, many Southerners believed they were not getting enough states’ rights. This political problem is often debated on its importance; however, the topic did cause many arguments and violent altercations.
“An episode that best depicts this sentiment was the aftermath of a scathing speech in June 1856 by an abolitionist U. S. Senator against the pro-slavery settlers in Kansas. Two days later, a Southern congressman walked into the Senate and severely beat the abolitionist with a gold walking cane.
Typically, this crime is punishable with a stiff fine and a time in jail. In the South, it made the congressman a hero, and inspired the following editorial in the Richmond Enquirer, a major Southern newspaper: “These vulgar abolitionists in the Senate are getting above themselves”, the editors wrote. “They have grown saucy and dare to be impudent to gentlemen! Now, they are a low, mean, scurvy set, with some little book learning, but as utterly devoid of spirit or honor as a peck of curs”. “…The truth is that they have been suffered to run too long without collars”.
“They must be lashed into submission…Let them once understand that for every vile word spoken against the South, they will suffer so many stripes, and they will soon learn to behave themselves, like decent dogs – they can never be gentlemen…” (Causes of the American Civil War). This quote perfectly sums up a lot of fights that took place as the tension grew between the North and South. Nonsense fights, and newspapers full of harsh words were everywhere.
“Douglas, a leading Democrat in Congress, had pushed through the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854), which declared that the voters of each territory, rather than the federal government, had the right to decide whether the territory should be slave or free,” (Abraham Lincoln). A large contributor to the Civil War had to do with the differences between the North and South, and the disputes that later took place because of them. In the Northern states industry was growing more prevalent, and soon became the groundwork of their economy.
The north also had the advantage with more abundant natural resources. Differences soon started to become apparent in 1860 when a quarter of all Northerners lived in urban areas while only one-tenth of Southerners lived in urban areas. Between 1800 and 1860 the percentage of laborers working in agriculture dropped from 70% to 40%. The Southern states providing most of that with 80% of their work force on the farm.
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