The True Cause of the Civil War
Between the economic, political, and social quarrels that evolved throughout the 1850's, the North and the South underwent many changes that led to the start of the Civil War. The most attributing factor to this war was that of a moral dispute between two sections who both wanted different things. Slavery became the issue that spread across the nation and was disputed back and forth between the North and South sections of the country.
Abolitionists were focused upon in the North and tried to get their message across to those owning slaves in the South. They expressed moral disapproval but engaged in few out-in- the-open activities. "To the extent that there was an organized antislavery movement, it centered on the concept of colonization-the effort to encourage the resettlement of American blacks in Africa or the Caribbean." (Brinkley, American History 342) Among these Abolitionists, was a famous U.S. journalist who published The Liberator and helped lead the successful Abolitionist campaign against slavery in the U.S. In his first issue of The Liberator, he boldly states his opinion on the issue of slavery: "I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation....I am in earnest-I will not equivocate-I will not excuse-I will not retreat a single inch-AND I WILL BE HEARD." (www.britannica.com) The Civil War forced Garrison to choose between his pacifist beliefs and emancipation. In December 1865 he published the last issue of
The Liberator and announced that his vocation as an abolitionist is ended. (www.britannica.com) When the issue of slavery peaked, the South decided that the best bet would be to secede. As for the entire issue of slavery, "basically the South wanted and needed it and the North did not want it at all. The South was going to do anything they could to keep it. This was the issue that overshadowed all others." (www.ask.com)
During the 1850's the South had about 4 million slaves. These slaves were very valuable to the slaveholding planter class. They were a huge investment to Southerners and if taken away, could mean massive losses to everyone. Slaves were used in the South as helpers in the fields in the cultivation of tobacco, rice, and indigo, as well as many other jobs. The South especially needed more slaves at this time because they were now growing more cotton then ever because of the invention of the cotton gin. Cotton production with slaves jumped from 178,000 bales in 1810 to over 3,841,000 bales in 1860.
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