In the years leading up to the civil war the union was noticeably unstable. With the election of Abraham Lincoln many of the people living in the southern states became very skeptical of Lincoln’s political decisions. They believed that Lincoln would take away their right to bear slaves which in turn would devastate their economy. Slavery was the key component of agricultural production in the south. Unlike presidents before him, Lincoln was an abolitionist. With the country split on whether or not to allow slavery tensions flared ultimately leading to a war between the states.
The majority of people in the north weren’t necessarily abolitionists, however Lincolns campaign attempted to convince people that the treatment of blacks was unfair and unjust. Northern states though didn’t rely as much on slavery and production. Therefore, as many southern states began to debate succession many people in the north cared more about preserving the union than the condition of slavery. One state mentioned in the talk show was South Carolina. It states how even though their population was about 60% black they were one of the first states to attempt succession. The reason for this is them being a southern state who relied so strongly on the labor of slaves. States attempted to argue the ability they should be given to revoke laws imposed by the federal government. This was an attempt to find a solution to preserve the union while allowing the general mass of their population to regulate its own state.
A giant group believed that the south had the advantage in the war. Yet, the north totaled a larger population and was more industry based which gave them the upper hand in weapons production. However, the economy in the north was largely based off the production in the south. Much of the trading with other countries took place at ports in the north. Cotton was one of most prominent exports during this time which gave the United States one of its major sources of wealth. In the original constitution it was evident that the document was pro-slavery. It is clear through the text that slave owners had rights to slaves as their property and also the effect slaves had on population in representation through government. At the beginning of Lincoln’s presidency there was talk about creating a new foundation in the constitution. It didn’t represent that slaves were equal to those who are white, but the ruling of slavery is an unjust practice. Ultimately, many people feared the succession of multiple states would put the United States prone to attack. They believed not having a strong central government would cause a view of a weak society. Lincoln opposed those who had intent to succeed. He believed they were traitors to society. However, as he continued to shape his future view of a more just United States those from the south continued to do whatever they felt necessary to protect their rights of ownership to slaves in order to keep the base of their economy.
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