the north&the south

external image civil_war.gifexternal image 54thmassachusetts.jpgThe American Civil war was fought between United States of American and Union states, also known as the South, from the years 1861 - 1865. So what was it that actually what caused the civil war. There was controversary in the United States, long before the civil war broke out involving everything from states rights, tarriffs and the most notable - slavery. Several States left the Union, or The United States after Abraham Lincolnwas elected president in 1860. These states were primarily agricultural states where slavery was legal, forming the Confederate States of America on Feb 4th 1861. They chose Jefferson Davis as their president.

Effects of the Civil War

The American Civil War finally came to an end with a victory for the Union on 9th April, 1865. Over the next few months, the Confederate forces surrendered in different parts of the country. Soon after the War, President Lincoln under his capacity of being the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy issued the Emancipation Proclamation which declared the freedom of all slaves in the Confederate States of America. As many as 3.5 million blacks were freed from the clutches of slavery during the civil war
. The reconstruction phase, which had begun during the war itself, came to an end in 1877. During the reconstruction phase, the authorities tried to address the issues caused by reunion of states. Special emphasis was given to the act of determining the legal status of the eleven Southern states which seceded from the Union.

As far as the economic effects of the Civil War are concerned, they were by and large in the favor of Northern states. Many policies intended to boost the industrial sector of the United States were not given a nod because they were staunchly opposed by the Southern states legislators. When these legislators resigned during secession, the legislators from the Northern states lobbied to approve all these pending policies and gave the industrial sector of the United States the much needed boost. Similarly, acts like the Morrill Tariff of 1861 and the National Bank Act of 1863, which were introduced just after the Civil War played a crucial role in the development of the United States.

So why did the civil war start in the first place? While a look at the American civil war fact and timlines[well talk more about that later]that there were numerous causes for the outbreak of Civil War, one of the most prominent cause was prevalence of slavery in the United States during this period. While the economy of the Northern states was driven by industries, the same was driven by agriculture in the Southern states. The Southern states were in favor of slavery as they needed these slaves to work as laborers on their fields. When the Federal Government decided to end the unethical practice of slavery, it was strongly opposed by the politicians from the Southern states. At the end of the day, both sides were at the loggerheads with Northern states accusing the slave states of being a threat to the democracy, and the Southern states accusing the free states of attacking their culture.

In the meanwhile, the Republican candidate Abraham lincoln
became the President of the United States by defeating John C. Breckinridge - the nominee of the Southern faction, by a huge margin. Lincoln's pro-abolition stance had always been a threat for the Southern states, and his election came in as a major blow for them. Adding to the woes was the decision of the slave state of Kansas, which declared itself a free state and joined the Union. In a brave attempt, the Southern states decided to secede from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America (also known as Confederacy) under the leadership of Jefferson Davis. When the first seven states declared the secession on 4th March, 1861, the Federal government questioned its legality and labeled it a rebellion, which prompted four more states to join the Confederacy.

The economic divide between the Northern states and Southern states was also among one of the most prominent
causes of the Civil War. The people from Southern slave states always thought that the Federal government was biased towards the Northern states, and when the legality of secession was questioned it just added fuel to the fire. The actual War began when the Confederate forces attacked a U.S. military installation in South Carolina. What followed was a brutal period of four years, wherein millions of Americans, especially youth between the age group of 20-30, lost their lives.

1. Economic and social differences between the North and the South.

With Eli Whitney's inventio of the cotton gin in 1793, cotton became very profitable. This machine was able to reduce the time it took to separate seeds from the cotton. However, at the same time the increase in the number of plantations willing to move from other crops to cotton meant the greater need for a large amount of cheap labor, i.e. slaves. Thus, the southern economy became a one crop economy, depending on cotton and therefore on slavery.On the other hand, the northern economy was based more on industry than agriculture. In fact, the northern industries were purchasing the raw cotton and turning it into finished goods. This disparity 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. This change in the North meant that society evolved as people of different cultures and classes had to work together. On the other hand, the South continued to hold onto an antiquated social order.

2. States versus federal rights.

Since the time of the Revolution, two camps emerged: those arguing for greater states rights and those arguing that the federal government needed to have more control. The first organized government in the US after the American Revolution was under the Articles of Confederation.The thirteen states formed a loose confederation with a very weak federal government. However, when problems arose, the weakness of this form of government caused the leaders of the time to come together at the constitutional converment and create, in secret, the us constution.

Causes of the Civil War: Timeline

Here is a chronology of the events that lead to the American Civil War.

1619 A.D. - Commencement of slavery in the United States.

1787 A.D. - Three-fifths compromise reached at the Philadelphia Convention. According to this compromise, three-fifths of the total population of the slaves will be counted for the purpose of taxation as well as for appointing members at the United States House of Representatives. Proponents of this theory were James Madison and Roger Sherman, who were against slavery and actually wanted that only the free people of the states should be counted. The reason behind this was that the slaves did not have voting rights and thus, the slave owners had the advantage of getting increased representation in the electoral College as well as the Unites States House. Read more on three-fifths compromise.

1820 A.D. - Missouri Compromise was reached which restricted slavery, just to the western territories. Slavery was prohibited in former Louisiana area with the exception of the proposed Missouri territory.

1820 A.D. - State of Maine, was declared a "free state". A compromise was reached wherein a balance between "free states" and "slave states" was maintained, to keep both the Northerners, who were anti-slavery and the Southerners, who were pro-slavery, satisfied.

1820-1830 A.D. - Rise of the Abolitionist movement, which declared slavery a "social evil", takes place. Important leaders of this movement included the likes of Abraham Lincoln, William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Theodore Weld and Arthur Tappan. Their modern outlook and anti-slavery stands were appreciated and accepted by the Northerners. Thus, the abolitionist movement gained weight, and became one the causes of the Civil War.

1846 A.D. - Mexican-American war takes place.

1848 A.D. - America wins the war and the "Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo" is signed whereby, present day states of Utah, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and Wyoming, were all ceded to the United States.

1846-1848 A.D. - Wilmot proviso, introduced by David Wilmot, which proposed banning slavery in all the territories acquired in the Mexican American war, is vehemently opposed by the Southerners, and finally defeated in the United States house.

1850 A.D. - Compromise of 1850 is reached, wherein California becomes a "free state". According to the compromise, the inhabitants of the new territories acquired from the Mexican-American war to decide the issue of slavery through voting, slave trade is prohibited in the district of Columbia, and the "Fugitive Slave Act" is passed. Read more on compromise of 1850 - summary.

1854 A.D. - Kansas-Nebraska Act passed, wherein people of both these territories, through voting, would decide whether to allow slavery or not. This act was against the compromise of 1820 which declared that these territories are "free", and hence, became one of the main causes of the Civil War. Due to this act, a clash between the pro-slavery proponents, led by John Brown, and the anti-slavery proponents took place. There was wide spread violence in the area and hence, it was nicknamed "Bleeding Kansas". Kansas is not given statehood as no compromise is reached between the anti-slavery and pro-slavery proponents.

1858-1859 A.D. - Minnesota and Oregon, declared "free states". An imbalance between "free states" and "slave states" is created, increasing unrest among the Southerners.

1860 A.D. - Elections take place. Republican candidate Abraham Lincolnwins, creating a distrust among the Southerners about the government. This fear and distrust became another of the causes of the Civil War.

1861 A.D. - Kansas declared a "free state" and becomes a part of the American Union.

1861 A.D. - Civil War begins. States of South Carolina, Texas, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia Alabama and Louisiana secede from the Union. Pro-slavery forces take over the federal buildings and installations. To know about the events that took place during the Civil War, including the Civil War battles, Civil War generals, Civil War dates and the abolition of slavery in 1865 A.D