Causes of the Civil War By Josh Worster

The Civil War, also called "the war between states" by Southerners, and "war of the rebellion" by Northerners, lasted from 1861 to 1865 and led to the deaths of more than 618,000 people. There were many causes that led to the all out war between the north and south; however, there are five main causes that sparked the bloodshed.

Economic and Social differences

Throughout history before the Civil War and evident during the War, the North overpowered the South in economic power and social alliances. From having more industrial power, to having bigger population, the North prepared for nearly any event. While the South depended "on cotton and therefore slavery," forcing the confederation to resort to man made items. Limiting the amount of people, and influence the South had on the North.

States versus Federal Rights

From the time of the American Revolution, the argument between greater state rights compared to greater federal rights has devised the north and the south. When states where threatened with disrespect from the U.S. Constitution, "they moved towards succession." This not only caused conflict between government and states, but between the people in them.

The Fight Between Slave and Non-Slave State Proponents.

With the expansion of America in full swing, the main issue confronting congress was wether or not new states would be admitted as slave states or free states. With the Missouri Compromise prohibiting the creation of slave states above 36' 30', the southern states were forced to find any land they could to advance their slavery boundarys. Acts such as the Nebraska Act of 1854 allowed the people to decide wether or not a state was to be allowed as a slave or free state, this worked in some areas, however in others, violence erupted. Such as in Lawrence, Kansas, where fighting brought about the name "Bleeding Kansas."

Abolition Movement

As people became more aware of the travesties of slavery, Northerners in particular, became more aggressive against slavery and the slaveholders. The government started to follow the steps that the North was taking against slavery, growing sympathies for Northern ideals, and turning against Southern ideals. When the creation of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, as well as other enlightening events, started growing people's understanding of slavery, the want to destroy it became exponentially greater.

The Election of Abraham Lincoln

The election of President Lincoln brought the initiation of the Civil War to a head. In the year 2016, due to fears of Lincoln being anti-slavery, South Carolina issued a "Declaration of the Causes of Secession." However this was not the first time something as this was to happen, for instance, even before the election, seven states had already seceded from the union. In order to maintain order, to maintain a single union, Northerners as well as the government were willing to use any force necessary to keep the South from becoming a separate country.


These five events, although not totally in fault, caused a war between neighbors, brothers, family. To this day we remember the lives lost for this country, for rights for all citizens, and for the beautiful home we call the United States of America.

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