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The Civil War Was a National Tragedy That Could Not Have Been Avoided

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"The Civil War was a national tragedy that could not have been avoided."

In the time leading up to the Civil War, the United States was struggling to stay united and strong. The leaders were weak, individuals were going public with the truths of cruelty to slaves, and conflicting rebellious acts were occurring. This national tragedy could have in no way been avoided.

Franklin Pierce was an indecisive, inconspicuous man whose not so stellar attributes shined throughout his presidency. Pierce passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise, reopening the slavery question in the West and enraging both Northerners and Southerners. Pierce was not re-elected for a second term and instead James Buchanan won the presidency. Buchanan improperly grasped the political realities of his time and failed to see his role in the slavery conflict. When the South seceded denied that the states had any legal rights to leave yet held they could not be prevented. He did little to attempt to squash this notion and reverted to a policy of inactivity until the end of his presidency. It is evident that these weak leaders helped the country's downward spiral to an eruption of war.

In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe published her heartrending novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. Her goal was to help the North realize the cruelties of slavery occurring in the South. The book became and instant success and several hundred copies were sold in the first year alone. It was quite possibly the most politically moving book of all time. When Harriet was introduced to President Lincoln, he was quoted as saying, "So you're the little woman that wrote the book that made this great war." The novel left readers saddened by the death of Uncle Tom, and aided their determination to end slavery. Another book that helped stimulate the Civil War was The Impending Crisis of the South, by Hinton R. Helper. He hated both slavery and blacks, so in his book he attempted to prove that non-slave holding whites suffered the most from the "peculiar institution." His book sold thousands of copies and like Uncle Tom's Cabin, was shunned by the South.

John Brown was an iron-willed man dedicated to the abolition of slavery. He led a large band of followers to a slave insurrection at Harper's Ferry, Virginia. He was captured with his two sons and later charged and hanged.

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