Causes of The American Civil War
620,000 American soldiers died in the Civil War and it was all because of slavery. So many people gave their lives away for what they believed in. Most Southerners believed that slavery should stay but many Northerners believed the opposite.They thought slavery was wrong because people were treated like cattle and forced to work for their masters till their death or until their master freed them so it must end.
The true cause of the American Civil War was slavery and this is shown by Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Bleeding Kansas, and John Brown’s Raid. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the most popular book in the nineteenth century, other than the bible. This book is written about slavery in the south by Harriet Beacher Stowe. Northerners loved this book because it was interesting and written in fiction. It thought them about the suffering of the slaves, like in an excerpt from Uncle Tom’s Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe writes, “The wild look of Anguish and utter despair that the woman cast on him might have disturbed one less practiced, but he was used to it.” This inspired Northerners to stop slavery and the suffering of the slaves.
Southerners felt that it was too dramatic and portrayed only the worst parts of slavery. The Southern Press Review said, Uncle Tom’s Cabin portrays slaves as more moral, intelligent, courageous, and elegant than their masters and that the book portrays the masters as cruel and mean. This proves that slavery caused the Civil war because, more and more Northerners began to criticize slavery. The southerners felt that this was an attack on their daily lives so they also got angry at the North. Tensions began to rise between the North and the South because they both wanted different things and had different opinions on slavery. Stephan A.
Douglas wanted to make a major railroad heading west, and he wanted to start it in Illinois, Chicago. The South wanted the railroad to start in Saint Luis, Missouri so it would be closer to them. Douglas proposed the Kansas-Nebraska act which would allow both Kansas and Nebraska to be able to vote whether they wanted to be a free or slave state. The South accepted this offer and Nebraska voted to be a free state like Douglas anticipated. When Kansas was voting to decide what they were going to be, Missourians crossed the border and hijacked the vote by casting votes for Kansas to be a slave state. Most people in Kansas didn’t own slaves so they wanted it to be a free state, but when people from the slave state of Missouri voted for Kansas to be a slave state, Kansas became a slave state.
This angered the citizens of Kansas causing both sides to start attacking each other, and in the Conditions in Kansas, Edward Bridsman wrote to his cousin saying that, “Scouting parties of Alabamians, Georgians, and Missourians were constantly plundering clothes, yards, horses and cattle, and everything they can get a hold of.” This forced Kansas to fight back against them and Edward Bridsman also wrote, “The thought of engaging in battle is not a pleasing one, but the Free State men are compelled too.” This proves that Slavery was the true cause of the American Civil War because Missouri and Kansas went to war with each other over the issue of Slavery. Missouri wanted Kansas to be a slave state while Kansas wanted to be free and this reflects the argument over slavery between the North and the South. This war caused tensions to rise between the North and the South because the South wanted slavery while the North didn’t. John Brown was a religious man and an abolitionist who hated slavery and would do anything to stop it.
John Brown knew that Slavery had to be stopped so he gathered his many sons and attacked Harpers Ferry, a military barracks in Virginia, and stole its weapons. He had informed all the slaves in the area about what was going to happen, and he planned to give them the weapons to start a slave revolt. None of the slaves thought that John Brown would actually be able to take over the barracks, and they didn’t want to receive harsh punishments so no one showed up. John Brown and his sons successfully captured the barracks, but while waiting for the slaves to show up they were surrounded and trapped inside Harpers Ferry. Instead of slaves, soldiers showed up and captured them.
John brown fought hard but he and his sons were forced to surrender and were executed. This event proves that slavery caused the American Civil War because the South viewed John Brown as a terrorist. However the many Northerners viewed John Brown as a hero and a martyr in the fight against slavery. Ellen Watkins sends John Brown a thank you letter before he was executed saying, “I thank you, and thatyou have been brave enough to reach out your hands to the crushed and blighted of race. This reflects many Northerners feelings of John Brown and is the opposite of what Southerners feel. The South feared that other northerners may try to follow in John Browns footsteps and they did not want this.
This inspired abolitionists to fight harder against slavery and led the South toward seceding from the United States of America. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Bleeding Kansas, and John Brown’s Raid prove that Slavery was the true cause of the American Civil War. Uncle Tom’s Cabin opened the eyes of Northerners to the horrors of slavery and made the South angry. The small war that Missouri and Kansas fought against each other in, over the issue of Kansas being a free or slave state, was called Bleeding Kansas. John Brown was a man that would do anything to stop slavery and he raided Harpers Ferry, trying to start a slave rebellion, but after a tough fight he was forced to surrender, and was executed along with his sons.
Slavery was the cause of one of the most devastating wars in American History.