Orgins of Civil War Essay

How did the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 lead to the American Civil War?

In 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected as president of the United States of America, the unseen events of which led to civil war. However it was not only Lincoln’s election that led to civil war but also the slavery debate between the Northern and Southern states and the state of the economy in the United States. Together with the election of Lincoln, other factors such as sectional economic rivalry contributed to the spilt between the Northern and the Southern sates which lead to the American Civil War.

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When Lincoln won the 1860 election it was not by a majority vote. In fact Lincoln won by less than 40 percent of popular votes, because the American election system is based on the college votes system he was able to win the election with a minority of votes. Lincoln won all the states in the North and in the West which, because of their high population, were worth the most points.

This election caused the civil war because of what the Southern States, the Confederates, perceived Lincoln to be. The civil war can be put down to five causes: slavery, political collapse that eliminated compromise, sectional economic rivalry, Southern nationalism, and the effect of fractional minorities such as Abolitionists. This can be summed up as a rift between the North and South states.
A rift between the North and the South had been present since the late eighteenth century. It began with the industrial revolution, which saw the Northern states prosper. The North changed industries from farming and agriculture to textiles and factories. This in turn saw the rise of bankers and lawyers and Northern cities such as New York became the known as the cultural centres of America. The Southern states continued agriculture and many Southerners became very wealthy with the use of slaves. However, the North also gained from this in the form of tariffs and taxes. Forty cents out of every dollar.

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