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Slavery as the Cause of the Civil War

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In the process of forming the United States, we had to face many problems on financial, territory, but the problem of slavery can be said to be one of the darkest sides of American history. The disagreement of the government and the Americans on slavery led to a major contradiction of States and that brought the American Civil War in the 1860s. The main significant event that led to the Civil War was the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which created the law that balances the power between the free slave states and slaveholder states. However, the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 violated the Missouri Compromise and cause great tension between free slave and slaveholder states. And the most important event that led to the separation between the North and South states was the Election of 1860, which is to decide who will become a President of the United States and also a representative of a slaveholder or free slaveholder state.

To begin with, after the United States was formed and stable, finding more territories is essential for the development of the country at that time. So, the US government has some actions in order to expand their territory as buying Louisiana territory in 1803, ‘Manifest Destiny”. That led to America thinking to move to the West to gain more territories at that place. Since they are doing that, they keep discussing the labor system, who is going to be the labor. The idea that they want to perform is making for the number of free states and the number of slave states must be equal, but this was difficult to do that. In 1820, Missouri became a state of the United States, which has a lot of people and became a Union as a slave state, which gave the Slave State more power. This has caused conflict between the opposition group and supporters of slavery. To resolve this conflict problem, the parliament had released the Missouri compromise, taking the 36º 30’ latitude as a border, the North of this line is no slavery, while the South is the place for slaves. Although the parliament had actions to soothe the contradiction of slavery, they only solved the problem of division between North and south. This continued to bring into conflict with slavery as the Americans moved to the west of the United States, which is Texas, and lead to the American-Mexican War later. Even the problem was solved, however, the development of the United States could not be deficient in the labor resources from slavery, so Missouri Compromise could not last too long. As a matter of time, the United States has faced many issues of dispute in the mode of slavery many times after that. This is event is one of the significant events leads to the Civil War because the equal division between slave states and free states is difficult to prolong with territorial expansion, so this event has led to many other events in the future to soothe the conflict between supporters and slaves, especially the Compromise of 1850.

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The next event that causes tension that leads to the Civil War was the Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854 or known as Bleeding Kansas. Even though the Missouri Compromise’s purpose is to balance the territories of the slavery and free slave s states, the problem was handled until the end of the Mexican War. A new problem occurred that how to decide a new state on the West like Texas and California whether the slavery state or free slave state. It was settled down by the Compromise of 1850 for a few years. In early 1854, Senator Stephen A.Douglas decide to divide a new large state into Nebraska and Kansa, and he also introduced a new principle of popular sovereignty. He wanted to give the residential of the new states the right to decide on having slavery or not. We could see the Stephen Douglas’s idea of popular sovereignty has transformed into a new residential area a referendum on slavery in the territories. That led to the race between northerners and southerners to develop and settle Kansas. Besides, in order to gain the support of the people of the south, he bypassed the ban on slavery that had been in effect for 34 years, then he passed The Kansas Nebraska Act in January 1854, and because of that, it conflicted with the purpose of the Missouri Compromise 1820. In 1854-1855, when the first Kansas elections occur, the people in Missouri can pass over the border and move to Kansas, that is the massive fraud and let the Northern people were not happy with this problem. Therefore, both Northern and Southern were heading to Kansas. In 1856, the event reached its highest conflict; when the pro-slavery from the South burn the free soil at Lawrence city in Kansas, In response to that event, the abolitionist name John Brown and his men try to murder everyone who supports slavery. By this time, Abraham Lincoln returned to politics, and Abraham Lincoln was not happy with Stephen Douglas for passing Kansas Nebraska Act and causing chaos that makes many people die and violating the Missouri Compromise. Because of this bleeding Kansas, we can predict that there will be a big war in the upcoming years, and the Civil War must be happening in the future.

The Election of the President in 1860 is the closest event that leads to the Civil War in 1861. In the nomination, Abraham Lincoln was represented for the Republican party, and his rival was Stephen Douglas represented the Democrat party. By that time, the Republican party believed that they will not interfere with the current slavery in the South, but they are opposed to the extension of slavery. On March 4, Abraham Lincoln told the southerners that he had no intention of indirectly or directly interfering with slavery, but on the first day of work, President Lincoln faced a problem with Anderson’s relief because he was out of food and needed resupplies, if don’t Anderson must surrender. Although he only provided food, not soldiers or weapons, in other words, he acted contrary to what he said and led to the opposition has some action against him. His opponent, Stephen Douglas believed in the concept of popular sovereignty. He supported the idea that each state has the right to decide on the status of slavery. Even though Abraham Lincoln did not receive that much support in the Southern, but he still won based on the majority of the popular vote and electoral vote. According to the lecture notes, by the end of the election, Abraham Lincoln won the election and became the President of the United States, and those slaveholder states left the United States and form their own nation and decide their own political. It was also known as Confederacy that included seven slaveholder states initially. In history, Abraham Lincoln was well known for his fighting to free slavery. Because he became the President, so those Confederacy states worried that Abraham Lincoln will push it further and it will have a strong effect on the slavery right in the South, and it will mostly benefit the Northern’s interests. Even though Abraham Lincoln was trying to settle down and keep those Confederacy secessions from the Union, but later on, when the Civil war happens, there were four more states the secession from the Union to join the Confederacy and made it to eleven states. Because of different believed so the Civil War is inevitable.

Over the historical references, slavery is a very serious issue in American history. The conflict between those who want to eliminate slavery and those who wanted to expand slavery lasted several centuries. Although the United States had to act to prevent this problem, however, this contradiction cannot be removed completely. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 tried to balance the number of free states and slave states, but the desire for power that led many states need additional labor force and territory has made this compromise become unstable. During the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, Senator Stephen A. Douglas has passed the law that led the people to live in a new state has the power to desire to become a slave state or free state; it was completed against both the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Compromise of 1850. Besides, Abraham Lincoln become President by winning in the Election of 1860, which led to the Confederacy states fear his struggle against slavery to be promoted, and the action he supports Anderson’s resupplies make the Civil War began. The disagreement in the thinking of slavery not only left a consequence for the African Americans at that time, but it also brought to the destruction of the United States when they had to fight with their own people.        

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