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Was the Civil War inevitable?
Transcript of Was the Civil War inevitable?
They had mostly small plantations and needed a lot of labor to generate income. In 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected President with only Northern electoral votes and beat the Southern favorite Stephen A. Douglas. [Doc E] The North could get along just fine without slavery.
They focused mainly on manufacturing and business ventures that didn't require physical labor. South North The south believed that they couldn't possibly keep up with the Northern economy without the driving force of slavery. Some people in the North believed that slavery was unjust [Doc C] and also gave the South an unfair economic advantage. Both sides couldn't let the other claim more states for fear of a clear majority. On April 12, 1861 the civil war began [Doc D] Opposing Views Sectionalism created conflict between states at this time, drawing a clear line between the ideals of Northern and Southern States. One very important example was slavery. Both groups pointed at the Declaration of Independence as proof for or against slavery. The South claimed that all men are equal except Blacks, but the North thought the Declaration also included Blacks. [Doc G] Although the compromise of 1850 was intended to prevent conflict, it actually caused much turmoil. 1. Set the boundary lines of Texas.
-Texas was rapidly expanding into Mexico so the North needed to stifle the amount of possible slave territory.
2. California became a free state.
-It was important for the North to keep California free because most of the state was below the 36'30° line.
3. Slave trade was banned in the District of Columbia.
-This meant less slaves could be brought into the Union.
4. New Mexico and Utah could vote on Slavery
-Slavery was ambiguous in their laws so they neither counted as slave states nor free states.
5. The Fugitive Slave Law was enforced.
-This law created an incentive to kidnap free black with a ten dollar reward. Captured slaves were also denied jury trials. Supporters of this compromise believed that it was important because both sides got partially what they wanted while also carrying out democracy. [Doc. A] Instead of the compromise unifying the North and the South, it created a deeper division between the two sides. The compromise didn't solve any problems, it only increased tensions. Here's what it did: Many states did not agree with Lincolns policy. In response, South Carolina was the first state to secede from the union. Other Southern states followed soon after, thus sealing the fate of civil war in our history books today.