Was The Civil War inevitable?
Also known as the “War Between the States,” the United States Civil War tore our country apart from 1861 to 1865. With over 600,000 total casualties, it remains today as one of the grimmest pieces of American history. But, have you ever wondered whether or not such a travesty could have been avoided? Here are some reasons why the Civil War may very well have just been impossible to avoid.
One of the key ingredients that led to the Civil War was the economic and social differences between the northern and southern states. Cotton was essentially the lifeblood of the southern states, and that meant they relied heavily on the use of slaves for their livelihood. On the contrary, the northern states focused their efforts on industrializing their cities and businesses—the south was based off of a one-crop plantation system while the north fancied the city life. Because of this, the North was more open to the idea of everyone working together, while the South retained a very strict, archaic social order.
The schism between those in support of slavery and those against it also played a very important role in the birth of the Civil War. As American expanded, the question of whether or not new states being admitted to the union would be pro-slavery or anti-slavery began to surface. The idea of abolishing slavery seemed like a direct attack on their culture and beliefs. On the other side, northern states saw slavery as a violation of human rights—no man or woman should be seen as property.
Federal right versus states’ rights was also one of the hot topics of the war. There were many individuals who felt that the constitution ignored the rights of the states and limited their ability to act in independence. Those of this mindset felt that states should have the right to determine which federal laws they accepted and which they did not. When this was forbidden, certain states felt as if they were no longer respected by their government, which led to the idea of secession.
These points are only three of many that contributed to the start of the war, but one thing is clear: The Civil War was certain inevitable. Every country in the history of the world has experienced its own civil revolution. It was only a matter of time before had ours.