The American war was a civil war fought from 1861 to 1865 between the northern Free States and the Southern Slave States. It started in the advent of the election of Abraham Lincoln as the President of the United States of America. After the election of the Lincoln, a republican, into the presidency and before formal handover by the former administration, seven southern states declared secession from the union to form the Confederate States of America. The main bone of contention was the republican promotion of nationalism as opposed to the southern states endorsement of slaveholding. During that time in America, the south was predominantly a plantation economy with large tracts of land under cotton plantations. The north was largely involved in industrial production and urban areas were rapidly expanding, thereby leading to better education and awareness. This led to the growth and promotion of nationalist ideologies.
Many northerners felt their Christian beliefs were conflicting with the southerner’s stand on slaveholding. The elite southerners were the main slave masters and owned large number of slaves. They also formed the ranks of the political elites. Slaves were necessary for their large cotton farms, therefore southerners promoted slaveholding in the congress house and in the senate.
The main cause of the American civil war was disunity on certain major ideologies the biggest of all being slavery. The southern states regarded slavery as a matter of their economic survival. With slaves providing labor in their large plantations; they had to make sure that slavery remained in the states. The northern states regarded slavery as the biggest threat to nationalism which they promoted. Earlier on, at the time of the American rebellion, slavery had been firmly rooted in all the American colonies. By the time the revolution ended, many Americans felt that slaveholding was contravening their Christian faith and the declaration of independence. Therefore, certain groups like the Quakers started promoting anti-slavery sentiments. This led to many northern states eventually becoming Free states. It is alleged that Southern soldiers on the battlefront fought in the conviction that they were defending slavery, culture, economy and manhood. Therefore, the American civil war was between the Free states against the slave states.
Social and Economic Differences
The south became a one crop economy. Depending on cotton agriculture as the main economic practice, it meant they were entirely depended on slavery. This dependency on cotton farming was spurred by the invention of a cotton gin by Eli Whitney in 1973. Cotton farming became very profitable, so other crops were abandoned in favor of cotton, which was labor intensive. The north was experiencing industrial revolution and growth in urban lifestyles which require integration and cultural harmony. The south was still stack in the old class systems, and they felt the need to retain the status quo for their economic and cultural survival. This led to wide social and cultural differences and also acted as a catalyst which fueled acrimonies on both sides.
State Rights versus Federal Rights
After the American Revolution, the states formed a loose federal government. Thereafter, the U.S constitution was formed albeit secretly by leaders who promoted federalism. This later led to the split between promoters of state rites, who happened to be the southerners, because they wanted to retain their slaves in whatever states they migrated to, and the northerners, who promoted nationalism. Nationalism was regarded as the vehicle which would drive the American republic into an economic and social success. Whereas the greater federal union focused on nationalistic ideals, the southerners within became a great slave society promoting State rights in order to hold on to their slavery ideals.