Main causes of the Civil War

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There were three main causes of the Civil War: slavery, differing economic and social systems, and states’ rights. Slavery was at the heart of the social, economic, political and constitutional conflicts. In addition differences in climate, soil, industries, labor systems, and divergent social forces lay at the roots of the causes of the Civil War. The last main cause of the Civil War involved the seceding states and their drive for the right to be independent and sovereign. Of the three causes, slavery is for me the most significant. The issue of slavery, unlike economic issues, was also a moral problem. Whether and where slavery should be allowed in the West would eventually result in Americans killing each other, the collapse and split of political parties, and national division. It began with the Missouri Compromise, when settlers to that state brought with them about 10,000 slaves. Missouri’s request for admission to the Union created a debate over the expansion of slavery. The Union wanted to maintain a balance between free states and slave states, but at the time there wasn’t another free state to pair with Missouri. In 1829 Maine came in as a free state and the next year Missouri entered as a slave state. The Missouri Compromise split the land acquired from the Louisiana Purchase. The lands north of the 36°30' parallel became free states and any land south of that line was a slave state, with the exception of Missouri. Then, in the Compromise of 1850, Henry Clay’s proposal, favored also by Daniel Webster, gave concessions to the north in California’s admittance to the Union as a free state and abolishing slavery in D.C., and concessions to the south through the Fugitive Slave Act and protecting slavery in D.C. The Fugitive Slave Act required that any runaway slaves found in the south and in the north must be, under penalty of law, returned to their
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