Assess the Factors That Led to the Outbreak of the American Civil War

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Assess the factors that led to the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861 The main factor that caused the American Civil War in 1861 was slavery as it was the underlying fundamental division between Northern and Southern societies that made living in harmony impossible. However, we must also examine the economic disparity between the North and South, political failure to manage the situation and the impact of the election of Lincoln in 1860. Although slavery is the underlying reason, the civil war would not have happened if it were not for the financial divide that developed because of slavery. These core factors were exacerbated by political mismanagement, a catalyst for the outbreak of the Civil War and Lincoln’s election in 1860, the trigger factor. Despite this, had it not been for slavery, there would have been no initial divide between North and South which created economic disparity and led to Southern paranoia over Northern expansionism which led to war, thus the most important factor. The most important factor for the outbreak of the American Civil War was slavery because it caused the initial divides between the North and South. The first divisions were as the USA was undergoing Western Expansion with the issue over whether the new states, such as California and New Mexico should be brought in as Slave states or Free states. The failure to reach a decision over whether new states would be Slave states or Free states meant there was inevitably a conflict that can be seen through to the tensions in Kansas in 1857. The fact that a minor civil war occurred simply over the issue of slavery clearly depicts that slavery was an essential factor in the outbreak of the Civil War. Furthermore, the South was separated from the North through a cultural division. Initial differences would later grow as the gap between the North and South’s economic

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