With the adoption of the United States Constitution in 1789, a new and united nation was born. Disagreements were concurred on by many leaders through compromises. But as years passed, our infant nation was challenged by an ever growing dilemmas between the North and the South.
Social, economic, and political differences rose so high that by 1861, our nation broke out into one of the darkest times in our nation’s history: the American Civil War. One of the largest social reasons, and one of the main reasons behind the causes of the war, included slavery.As the infant nation began to expand with the additions of newly acquired territories from purchases such as the Louisiana Purchase or wars fought such as the Mexican War, it was questionable as to how new states were going to be admitted into the Union. Would they be admitted as free states or as slave states? In 1820, a compromise known as the Missouri Compromise was formed.
The Missouri compromise established the concept that any state entering the Union that was located beneath the 36 degrees 30 minutes north line would be a slave state minus Missouri.The Mexican war, the U. S. fought Mexico for the land that we now know as Texas.
Eventually, the Compromise of 1850 (Doc. 1) would help out to balance the number of free (northern) and slave (southern) states. One agreement was on the Fugitive Slave Act which forced citizens of free states to return runaway slaved back to their owners. Another issue that heightened tensions between the sides was the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which would create two new territories that would allow their citizens to vote on becoming a free or slave state using popular sovereignty.
One large issue occurred in Kansas where pro-slavery Missourian citizens began to migrate into it to help force the state to become pro-slavery. These people were named “Border Ruffians. The fighting that occurred in Kansas would eventually help history remember the event as “Bleeding Kansas. ” Along with the fight between advocates who fought for and fought against slavery raged on, the growth of the Abolition Movement steadily increased.
Each day, people in the north became more enraged with the southerners.Northerners increasingly began to sympathize for slaves and often took abolitionist-type actions such as defying the Fugitive Slave Act and harboring fugitive slaves even while being located in a free state. Major events such as the publishing of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin which exposes the evil behind slavery and the unjustness behind the Fugitive Slave Act (Doc. 4), John Brown’s Raid, the Fugitive Slave Act, and the Dred Scott case were all components of Abolition Movement in the Northern States.
During this time period, “the sectional division between North and South began in colonial times and resulted from geographical differences”. With the secession of the South from the Union, two separate economies were formed. “In the South, the earliest settlers found the warm climate and fertile soil ideal for growing tobacco. They started many tobacco plantations and brought it black slaves from Africa to provide most of the labor.
In time, other plantations crops, especially cotton, sugar cane, and sugar beets, were found to thrive in the South.With the South having the superb climate and perfect soil, the South’s economy was destined to be an agricultural economy based on slave labor. Contrary to the South, the North came to rely more on trade than agriculture due to their rocky soil and cooler climate. Industry and Commerce became the focus of the North as many factories sprung up all over the North (Doc 3).
The North had the advantage in each of the categories that were based off of population, number of soldiers, number of factories, and miles of railroad tracks (Doc 2).While the North was able to provide themselves with a steady economy based on mass-production, factory work, and intricate ways to help transport manufactured goods, the South’s economy was based off of agriculture and a large manual labor force. They needed a never ending supply of workers who were cheap so African Americans were their first choice. The economies during the Civil War of North and the South very highly contrasted each other, but social and economic differences weren’t also the cause of the South’s secession.