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Causes of the Civil War

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In 1860, the world's greatest nation was locked in Civil War. The war divided the country between the North and South. There were many factors that caused this war, but the main ones were the different interpretations of the Constitution by the North and South, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the arrival of

Lincoln in office. These factors were very crucial in the bringing upon of the destruction of the Union. They caused immediate war.

In 1791, the tenth amendment was added to the Constitution. The tenth amendment states that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." (Bailey 16) This amendment was the basis in which the South kept slavery. The states believed that since nothing was written in the Constitution about who should decide about the slavery issue, that therefore the states had the power to decide. On the other hand, the North didn't feel such a issue was part of states' rights. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the nation; other southern states followed after, thus causing the Civil War. After South Carolina adopted an Ordinance of Secession, the South

Carolina convention issued a "Declaration of Causes of Secession" In it, it stated:

"By this Constitution certain duties were imposed upon

the several states, and the exercise of certain of their powers

were restrained.....But an amendment was added, which declared

the powers not delegated.....are preserved to the states.....We

assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused fulfill

their constitutional obligations....Thus the constitutional compact

has been deliberately broken.....and the consequence follows

that South Carolina is released from her obligation." (Stampp, 44)

South Carolina felt strongly that they should be allowed slavery by the

Constitution, the North disagreed. One of the state's reasons for seceding was because they felt the other states had broken their obligation by not allowing them to secede. With South Carolina out of the Union, the War would begin shortly.

Another trigger to the civil war was the Kansas-Nebraska Act. In 1854, another slavery issue was brought up- would Kansas and Nebraska be slave-holding or free states? From the Missouri Compromise, all states above the 36Ñ"30' line were to be free states and all states below were slave states. But, Stephan A. Douglas, had another idea, he wanted to settle the problem by popular sovereignty. The only problem with his plan was that Kansas lay below the 36Ñ"30' line and Nebraska above it, which inflicted with the Missouri

Compromise. Douglas had to try to repeal the Missouri Compromise in

Congress, for his plan to work. Congress debated the issue. "So heated were political passions that bloodshed was barely averted" (Bailey, 414) Even though, Douglas was able to get the bill passed. The repeal of the Missouri Compromise angered the North, they wanted to stop all future slave territory demands. "The Kansas-Nebraska Act-a curtain raiser to a terrible led directly down the slippery slope to Civil War." (Bailey,416) Many people were furious. The North and South opinions were very different, congressmen even started carrying guns to congress. "....fierce contest which accompanied...the passage of Douglas' Kansa-Nebraska Bill is one of the said ironies of history. Northern and



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