The civil war was fought from 1861 to 1865. About 620,000 soldiers died during these years. The civil war was caused by a difference in opinions over the slavery issue. In 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected president. During his presidency, one of his main concerns was to keep slavery out of the territories that had not yet become states. He believed that if he did not stop the spreading of slavery, it would block ‘free labor on free soil’ Although Lincoln was totally against slavery, he insisted he was not an abolitionist. He wanted to peacefully stop the expansion of slavery. The economy in the south consisted mainly of plantations of tobacco, cotton, corn, vegetables, etc. therefor slaves were beneficial to them to help them produce all of this. Without the slaves, the South would struggle tremendously. Due to President Abraham Lincolns decision, the South decided to secede. The southern states soon became the Confederate States of America. President Lincoln was not sure if the secession was legal or not but he decided not to give it recognition because he feared it would split up the nation.
An abolitionist is someone who opposes slavery and is dedicated to ending it in a nation where personal freedom was valued and it was believed that all men were created equal. For example, Frederick Douglas, a very well-known abolitionist. Frederick himself was once a slave in Maryland, after his escape Frederick took his experiences in being a slave and wrote about them. He also started an abolitionist movement in New York. The role that abolitionists took in this war was that they unfortunately were another cause of it. Sadly, because of these abolition movements fighting to end slavery it caused a division between the states which lead to this war.
Another cause of the civil war was the states’ rights versus the federal rights. The main focus was on whether or not the federal government had the most power over the states to end slavery completely. As a result of the war, the federal government ended up having the most power, the states’ rights were almost abolished. The way that the civil war expanded the powers of the federal government was that due to all the bloody battles such as the battle of Gettysburg and the Battle of Antietam, people were going through a time in need, in seek for assistance. They eventually end up getting help from the most-highest level of leadership, that being the federal government.
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