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The issues of state rights in the Civil War

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Though slavery was the major cause of the Civil War, it was the issues of state rights that played the second most important role. The Confederation was created with thirteen colonies coming together and forming a central government. It was believed that all the thirteen colonies would get equal representation in the Congress. Also, all these states were also wanting to take decisions regarding their internal matters to themselves. While the states were granted some rights, it was declared in the Constitution that the central government would be allowed to interfere in all important matters and its authority would no be questioned.

The articles in the constitution gave lots of power to the central government which had created a conflict between the states and their government. States were granted limited powers later to help them retain some control over their own affairs. These powers granted to the states proved to be unhelpful in helping the states when the government promised equal representation to all of the states. A big economic difference between the North and the south was what their economies consisted of. The north’s economy was made with a big deal of manufacturing, and the souths did not. Looking at document one, there were many major railroads in the north compared to the south.

Therefore, the north had more valued exports than the south. In the north since there were more manufactured goods and the south depended on crops and slaves, the north was more industrialized and wealthier. Before the Civil War, the north and the south were very different in terms of their economy. In the north, there were factories, and in the south, there were just plantations. Although the two economies were very different, they depended on each other for stuff. The north depended on the south for cheap sources of raw materials. Both economies, the north and the south, needed the poor to work in bad conditions for little or no pay.

In 1828, northern politicians forced the south to buy goods from the north by passing federal laws that placed high taxes on all the goods imported from foreign countries. A debate began about the tariff for a few years until another tariff was passed in 1832 that increased taxes on manufactured cloth and iron which made southerners very mad. South Carolina threatened to secede but changed its mind. The state legislature agreed and nullified the tariff. The federal government viewed nullification as treasonous and responded with a a new bill that allowed the president to use Navy and Army power to enforce Congressional acts. Both sides had reached a compromise which allowed the tariff to continue only if it decreased each year between the years 1833 to 1842 until the tariff was at the same rate as it was in 1816 based of document 6’s passages. The United States before the civil war was split into two regions, the North and the South. These two regions had very different climates, economics, and cultures. This led to different life styles, perspectives and arguments. The problems caused by the differences between the North and the South led the nation into a great civil war which happened to be the bloodiest war in American history.

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