What Were The Causes Of The American Civil War In The 1800's

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The American Civil War, spanning the years of 1861-1865, was fought primarily over two key issues; slavery and states’ rights. Though examples of conflict concerning both of these issues can be seen as early as before the framing of the Constitution, there were several key events in the mid-1800’s that contributed to the exacerbation of the negative Northern and Southern sentiments. These events would culminate with succession of the Southern Confederate States and lead the nation into the bloodiest battle in her history to date, the Civil War. The Northwest Ordinance of 1789 was the first major legislation to address the issue of slavery in future regions. This ordinance set the precedent of the United States expanding by creation of new states instead of expansion of existing ones. It also, however, banned slavery in the territories north of the Ohio River, which would mean that as these new states were admitted to the Union, the South would gradually lose their pro-slavery footing in Congress. At the time the Union was balanced equally between slave and non-slave states, a disruption of the balance meant the chance of losing their power to quell Northern anti-slavery legislation. This issue…show more content…
With the proposal of the Wilmot Proviso, the precarious balance of free-to-slave states was again being threatened with disruption. The proposal failed, but not before succeeding in creating enough of a stir to contribute to the necessitating of the Compromise of 1850. In this new compromise, which is considered a contributing factor to the delaying of the start of civil war, several new slave policies were enacted. Included in these were the controversial Fugitive Slave Act and the slave trade being abolished in the District of Columbia. While temporarily pacifying a significant number of both Northern and Southerners, the 1850 Compromise also served to widen the ideological gap between

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