It would start with the Tariff of abominations, an then the North and the South would just come to hate each other hastily for their different views on slavery. A beginning problem was a tariff issue in 1832. It was a new tariff that South Carolina did not take kindly to. South Carolina thought that if a law or tariff in this case is passed that directly affects the state, which it did, that the state had the right to nullify such a bill. This was the first of many problems the states saw to realize this was the beginning of a bigger scheme of problems (Document A).
Slavery contributed to the start of the Civil War as its proposed abolition was seen as a threat to the sovereignty of many Southern states. Biter tensions were created between the North and South over whether slavery should be allowed to expand more. In the North slavery had almost disappeared, while in the South slaves were sold in auctions to work on cotton fields. These differences caused division in the states, which eventually lead to the Nation dividing into two sections, the Confederate states and the Union states. National Unity was seen, as the primary reason the Northern states were willing to confront the South.
The line of division was usually between the north and the south. This occurred because of their innate alterations, the north being free and industrial, and the south being agricultural with slavery. States sometimes attempted to nullify disapproving laws, such as South Carolina and the tariffs of the early 1800’s. This insurgence against federal authority peaked with the secession of South Carolina in 1860. South Carolina resisted by saying that the states had founded the Union, thus they could leave it.
This started to cause a conflict because both groups looked down at one another. The common foot soldier for the British was the scum of Britain were as the soldiers of the colonies were more middle class individuals. Then the officers for the British army’s looked down on colonial officers because it was believed that they did not have the title they had. This was the first rivalry or feud between the two sides. As the war continued on Britain would eventually will the fight and take control of what was known as the Ohio River Valley as well as land in Canada.
In the early years of the republic, there were various controversial issues that divided the American people. The ratification of the Constitution split people up into Federalist and Anti-Federalist groups, which were those who wanted the Constitution to be ratified, and those that didn’t. Before the Louisiana Purchase, people were also split on whether or not the purchase was going to be worth it in the long run. When the issue of expansion of slavery into the territories was brought up, Southern-extremest and Northern-soilers could never seem to come to an agreement. Before the Constitution, there were the Articles of Confederation.
Americans felt that since they had no representation in Parliament, and that there were decisions being made for them without proper representation, that they were slaves to the forceful word of the British crown. Even some countrymen in Great Britain felt that the Americans were being treated unfairly. Lord Camden believed that Americans were not being given their natural born rights as men. “My position is this – I repeat it – I will maintain it to my last hour, - taxation and representation are inseparable: - this position is founded on the laws of nature,” (pg.95, Major Problems in the Era of the American Revolution, Brown). It seems there was a miscommunication, because Britain was treating the Americans different from other British and also wanted to keep major control in anyway, like restricting trade from any other country (like France and Spain).
This is where sectionalism came to be a huge role in the cause of the Civil War. The idea of a man against slavery becoming president made the South angry, how could a man who believed the complete opposite be at all fair or do anything they requested to better their economy and conditions? The South did not want Lincoln as a president, so they succeeded from the Union. The South’s whole economy came from plantations farming and slave labor, without slaves the felt that the South could not survive. The South’s population was slow on the ride and the talk of abolitions and the end of slavery was not good news to them.
William Seward was a leading anti-slavery figure who later became secretary of state in the Lincoln administration. He believed that the two systems held by the North and the South (free labour and slavery) were “incompatible”. He stated that eventually America would have to become either fully a free labour nation or a slaveholding nation. While not everyone felt so strongly about this in the North (many didn’t care about the slavery issue at all) it was a reason that soldiers and leaders on either side went to war and fought for (in the North to end it, in the South to defend it). Lincoln was of the opinion that while he would never accept the extension of slavery he would make no direct attempt to interfere with it where it existed.
(D 447) Lincoln also curtailed civil liberties during the war. He suspended the writ of habeas corpus and ordered military trials for dissidents. He ignored Chief Justice Taney’s decisions against his policies. (M 43; D 299, 303-304, 380, 382) Lincoln’s 1863 decision (D 362-364) to make slavery the main issue of the war also caused major groups in the North to turn against the war. There were Copperhead Democrats in Indiana, draft riots in New York City, and even Northerners serving in the Confederate Army.
The war was fought over three main disagreements - economy, state rights, and slavery. The south didn’t have the factories and machinery that the northern states had, and were therefore less successful. The heart of their economy revolved around slavery, and the northern states didn’t like this. The north wanted to abolish slavery. This led to fighting over which territories would have slavery or not, and eventually seven states, including Virginia, left the United States and formed their own country, called the Confederate States of America.