North vs. South – Brother against Brother CAUSES OF THE CIVIL WAR
The Civil War The Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865 and led to over 618,000 casualties. Its causes can be traced back to tensions that formed early in the nation's history. Why did it happen? Following are some top causes that led to the "War Between the States."
#1:Economic & Social Differences between North and South COTTON vs. INDUSTRY The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 made cotton very profitable, reducing the time to separate seeds from the cotton. Many southern plantations moved from other crops to cotton, meaning a greater need for a large amount of cheap labor (slaves). The southern economy became a “one crop economy,” depending on cotton and therefore on slavery. The northern economy was based more on industry than agriculture. Northern industries were purchasing raw cotton and turning it into finished goods. This difference between the two set up a major difference in economic attitudes. The South was based on the plantation system while the North was focused on city life.
#2: States’ vs. Federal Rights Since the time of the Revolution, two groups emerged: those arguing for greater states rights and those arguing that the federal government needed to have more control. Remember the weak Articles of Confederationwas replaced by the U.S. Constitution. Remember also the discussion we had about “strict construction” vs. “loose construction.” Many thought states could set aside acts of the federal government (nullification). Some, such as John C. Calhoun, fought vehemently for nullification. When nullification didn’t work and states felt that they were no longer respected, they moved toward secession.
#3: Tariffs (taxes) Before the war about 75% of the money to operate the Federal Government was derived from the Southern States via a sectional tariff on imported goods, and 50% of that total was from just 4 Southern states: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Only a small portion of this tax money was being returned to the South, which felt it was being treated as an agricultural colony of the North and bled dry – creating further sectional strife. The South felt that the North wanted it to pay for the industrialization of America at no expense to them. This difference in tax revenues created further tension.
#4: Fight between Slave and Non-slave proponents America expanded (Louisiana Purchase; Missouri Compromise; Mexican-American War; Compromise of 1850; Kansas-Nebraska Act; “Bleeding Kansas”). The continuing battle was over whether new land (territory or state) would be slave or free. The fight even erupted on the floor of the senate when antislavery proponent Charles Sumner was beat over the head by South Carolina's Senator Preston Brooks.
#5: Growth of the Abolition Movement Increasingly, some northerners became more polarized against slavery. Sympathies began to grow for abolitionists and against slavery and slaveholders. This occurred especially after some major events including: the publishing of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, the Dred Scott Case, John Brown's Raid, and the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act that held individuals responsible for harboring fugitive slaves even if they were located in non-slave states.
#6: Political Leaders Most northerners had never seen a slave; most southerners didn’t own a slave. And though the majority of the American people, including many moderate politicians like Abraham Lincoln, wanted to avoid Civil War and were content to allow slavery to die a slow, inevitable death, the most influential political leaders of the day were not. On the southern side, "fire-eaters“ were willing to make war to expand their "right" to own slaves. On the northern side, radical abolitionists were willing to make war to put an immediate end to slavery. The issue was seen by many people at the time as an economic issue, not a moral one – and both “sides” felt threatened.
#7: Election of Abraham Lincoln Though tension had been steadily building, when Lincoln was elected in 1860, South Carolina issued its "Declaration of the Causes of Secession," believing Lincoln was anti-slavery and in favor of Northern interests against the South. Before Lincoln was even president, seven states seceded from the Union: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.
#8: Secession of southern states Lincoln was determined to hold the Union together – “preserve the Union.” When Ft. Sumter was fired on, Lincoln called for “volunteers” to “put down the rebellion,” prompting men both North and South to join their causes. Secession was the immediate cause of the war.
The RESULTS? The Civil War claimed the lives of over 600,000 men on both sides. Brother was pitted against brother. The South was devastated. An American president was assassinated. And after the war, slavery was brought to an end with the 13th Amendment.
PROJECT “TO ARMS” Think about the reasons for going to war – both from the Northern (“preserve the union”) and Southern perspective (“be left alone – fight off invading army”), and create a poster “advocating” either side. USA or CSA
Poster Rubric Labels ….4: All items of importance on the poster are clearly labeled. / 3: Almost all items of importance on the poster are clearly labeled. / 2: Many items of importance on the poster are clearly labeled. / 1: Labels are too small to view OR no important items were labeled. Graphics – Relevance ….4: All graphics are related to the topic and make it easier to understand. / 3: All graphics are related to the topic and most make it easier to understand. / 2: All graphics relate to the topic. / 1: Graphics do not relate to the topic . Attractiveness ….4: The poster is exceptionally attractive in terms of design, layout, and neatness. / 3: The poster is attractive in terms of design, layout and neatness. / 2: The poster is acceptably attractive though it may be a bit messy. / 1: The poster is distractingly messy, poorly designed, not attractive. Grammar….4: There are no grammatical/mechanical mistakes on the poster. / 3: There are 1-2 grammatical/mechanical mistakes on the poster. / 2: There are 3-4 grammatical/mechanical mistakes on the poster. / 1: There are more than 4 grammatical/mechanical mistakes on the poster.