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Causes of the Civil War

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Disagreements over the extent of federal and state rights often broke out between the north and the south called constitutional disputes. The nation of the United States of America was based on the constitution and its amendments which gives the rules and laws needed for the country to function properly. When the south started to question the Constitution and the authority that it gives to the federal government; that is when the nation began to crumble and fall apart. The north could not do anything about slavery if the south states’ rights were strong enough to oppose them, so slavery itself was not the issue. The south seceded because of the federal governme enough to pass tariffs and laws that they contradicted. Most importantly, the south was afraid that the federal government would pass a law abolishing slavery or keeping it from expanding if Abraham Lincoln was elected into the executive branch as president. The Lecompton Constitution is an example of why the south could be angry with congress and the way it functions. Kansas and Nebraska were states ruled by popular sovereignty so when Kansas submitted a pro slavery state constitution, congress did not answer well. AMSCO states, “Buchanan… asked Congress to accept the document and admit Kansas as a slave state. Congress did not do so, because many democrats… joined with the Republicans in rejecting the Lecompton constitution.” This shows even though majority of the population was pro slavery in the state, congress had enough power to reject their constitution because of the power the U.S. constitution gave them. Federal power was proved greater than state power once again. Economic and geographic differences were not too great of a conflict because the south knew that the north often asked for their cotton to use in their textile mills. South Carolina, the first state to secede, declares multiple times that, “the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the federal government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights if states, fully justified this State in withdrawing from the Federal Union…” This was the first sentence of this document which shows this was their biggest conflict and reason for secession.

Constitutional disputes, the main cause of Civil War was also the cause to a previous war in American history, the Revolutionary War. The Parliament had imposed a series of taxes on the colonists. These taxes angered the colonists and they believed their rights as British citizens were being violated. The Parliament had more power than the colonies, therefore the colonies had no control to change these taxes.

Political blunders and extremism was least responsible for the Civil War, because constitutional disputes, slavery and economic differences were all greater causes. Political blunders and extremism was more of an effect of these three main causes. Constitutional disputes were the disagreements of the states’ and federal rights which then lead to the separation of parties over radical ideas. One of these main disputes was over slavery. The south, the confederacy fought for independence and the expansion of slavery, as the Union was fighting to preserve the Union and their original beliefs.

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