Causes of the Civil WarAlthough some historians feel that the Civil War was aresult of political blunders and that the issue of slaverydid not cause the conflict, they ignore the two main causes. The expansion of slavery, and its entrance into thepolitical scene.The North didn't care about slavery as long as itstayed in the South. South Carolina seceded, because AbrahamLincoln, a Republican, was voted into office. The Republicanparty threatened the South's expansion and so Southernersfelt that they had no other choice.The United States was divided into three groups by thetime the Civil War began: those who believed in the completeabolition of slavery, those who were against the expansionof slavery, and those who were pro slavery. The Republicanparty was formed in opposition to southern expansion. Theirviews were Free Soil, Free Men and Free Labor. TheRepublicans were anti-South but they were in notabolitionists. They believed that slavery was a flawedsystem that made the south ineffective and because theNorth's free labor system was superior it must be guarded
from southerners. When the Republican candidate, Abraham Lincoln waselected in 1860, the South felt threatened, and becauseexpansion was vital to the survival of slavery they alsofelt their way of life was being threatened. Because slaverywas such an important part of Southern society, the Southfelt that they could not survive without it. That's why theywere not willing to compromise with the north. To own slaveswas a sign of wealth and social prestige and poor farmerswho could not afford slaves had a goal to work for. In theelection of 1860 you can see that Lincoln only secured 4% ofthe popular vote in the South, only winning in the upper 5states, where in the north he received 54% of the popularvote. This shoes how united the South was in their dislikefor Lincoln. If the South had been more divided theymight have been more willing to compromise. The central cause of conflict between North and Southwas slavery, but it was only in it's expansion that itbecame a reason for war. The entrance of slavery intopolitics made it into a public issue, and once the issuebecame public the conflict had to be solved.