The primary cause that contributed to the devastating civil war in the American history has been a discussion topic for many years since many causes directly led to the war. The expansion of sectionalism and slavery are considered to be the root causes of the war. While the issue of unimpressive leadership, the presence of slavery, state's rights and each region's opinion of the other states' plans contributed to the warfare. The increase of slavery and sectionalism created more pressure between the North and the South. Tensions were due to the slavery in the West as well as the trade and regional variances between the two areas. The subject related to states' rights only brought about commotion over the rights of local regimes in the West and tariffs. The existence of slavery is among the elements that led to war, but it was a long term cause hence cannot be considered as the primary root. The state's right is an indirect cause of the Civil War. Also, with concerns to local parties and statesmen, ineffectual leadership contributed to the war. Finally, each region's opinions was a negligible cause of the Civil War, in which, the rival groups became bitter over the other's opinions. This essay reflects purely on the primary causes of Civil War in the American history.
Slavery began when the first load of slaves was brought to Jamestown, North America (Winch, 72). In the American colonies, Slavery was practiced all over and the African-American slaves facilitated in the building of economic fundamentals of the new state. The central significance of slavery in the South was accelerated by the discovery of cotton gin. Workers who were paid fled as they became unease with the working condition in the Southern plantations hence the plantations owners' desired workforces that were not free (Ngai, 67). They considered using the black slaves compared to the white indentured servants. The black slaves could not escape easily from the plantations even if they were indentured.
Free labor and pro-slavery played a major role in the division of the union between the North and the South. The discussion over the forthcoming of slavery was the burning issue that led to the division of the union. The dispute resulted in a breakaway which brought about by the war between the Northern and Western states with the aim to preserve the union while the South battled to form Southern liberation as a new union of states beneath its constitution. Slavery in the Southern economy was intertwined even though slaves were owned by a relatively low number of individuals. Slaves were traded, rented or sold to settle debts. Owning a handful of slaves brought about respect to the particular individuals that contributed to social positions and region's wealth. Meanwhile, slavery in the Northern was abolished, but there was a stable flow of immigrants from Germany and Ireland in 1840s and 1850s during the potato famine that ensured availability of labor. The root problem between the North and South economically lay majorly on their labor structures (Winch, 62). Economic and cultural panic drove the country into warfare. The North was largely opposed to slavery which led to rhetoric war due to their cultural difference.
Atlantic slave trade set the base for modern capitalism that generated enormous wealth for many commercial enterprises in America. The trade facilitated industrialization in America and led to the establishment of a distinct Atlantic world that comprised of western Europe, the Caribbean Islands, Western, Africa and North and South main lands. Besides the substantial riches their readily available labor created for others, the increased importation and successive enslavement of Africans became the main element for the relocation of the continents as a result of the devastating decline in their native population.
In the current study of the American history and administration, there are few controversial subjects compared to the issue of the American Constitution and slavery. The constitution appeared to defend slavery in the federations, barred Congress from abolishing the slave trade and recommended that slaves be returned to their respective masters (Winch, 43). These deceptive constitutional protections resulted in a Civil War aimed to enhance freedom to the slaves forever. Therefore, there seemed to be a contradiction in the constitution to the general ideas of equality and liberty in the American groundwork and the main Declaration of Independence which stated "all men are created equal" and gifted with "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
The market revolution marked the most important changes in the American communities. It comprised of universal and deep effect for the people to truly appreciate its special effects and thus need to evaluate several perspectives. New York City and Wall Street, a midpoint for finance and banking purposes in the new Republic, was one of the major marks of the market revolution. Market Revolution is described as an appropriate tag for the economic transformation that arose in America during the nineteenth century. It acknowledges that drastic fluctuations occurred which were mainly influenced by the market size. Many people criticized market revolution but irrespective of the critics, it proved to be significant in establishing a stable and strong economy which as a result allowed growth and development among individuals and the state. Civil war provides a suitable line of distinction between market revolution which occurred in the first half century and the second half which was shaped by fast industrialization.
The market revolution which was also social transformation emerged in the United States evolving to the market economy. There were many new discoveries and infrastructure which facilitated the easier movement of goods and services to the state. Discovery of the cotton gin and interchangeable firearms parts by Eli Whitney promoted many developments to the West, South and North. The production of wheat revolutionized by Cyrus McCormick in the west enabled farmers to sell their surplus produce to industries in the North. A series of events took place during market revolution including; steamboat invention by Robert Fulton, and mills were opened in Massachusetts Lowell, the first railroad appearance in the U.S and Erie Canal completion. There also came the invention of the telegraph and Cumberland road completion. Labor unions were legalized in Massachusetts (Ngai, 77).
Modernization was on the rise in the North during the period of market revolution from 1820 to 1850. Transportation revolution, urbanization, industry growth in America, German and Irish immigration and urbanization effects on the sharing of wealth and inequality in society in America remained prominent. Reform movements were formed which was as a reaction to the changes in the American society. There was also an emergence of women movements protecting their rights. An American business person Francis Cabot Lowell was instrumental in facilitating the industrial revolution in the United States. Innovative systems for labor and manufacturing were efficiently developed by the textile industry which dominated in the Manufacturing Company of Lowell Boston.
The invention of machines enabled unskilled personnel to do work which was mainly performed by trained artisans. Workers required factories to carry out this kind of jobs. The construction of mills became a successful venture which made many people prefer white collar jobs to their family farms. Women were greatly sought by employers because they offered a satisfactory source of labor and were cheaper paid compared to men. This revolution brought about numerous changes in America and in various ways. First, for the average Americans they became more prosperous as a result of the revolution. They were able to acquire goods and services that they had never produced before. Second, their living standards changed completely. People could work for other people and not just for personal gains. It also changed the common way of life and created an individualistic structure where individuals less interacted with one another. Third, numerous changes led to fresh ideas that could not allow the society to remain the same way but be developed by human efforts. This later resulted in the formation of movements for temperance, quality education and protection for women's rights.
The market revolution was an important part of the acceleration of developments in the United States which are of great benefit today in society. The market revolution marked a change in barter trade economy to allow the use of currency in the buying and selling of commodities. With such changes, United States' economy has come out to be the most stable in the world. Also, market revolution resulted in changing of religious life and culture in the period between Civil War and Revolution (Ngai, 57).
Ngai, Mae M, and Jon Gjerde. Major Problems in American Immigration History: Documents and Essays. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2013.
Winch, Julie. Between Slavery and Freedom: Free People of Color in America from Settlement to the Civil War. , 2014.
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