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Economic Causes of The American Civil War

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The American civil war took place because of a lot of social and economic disparities between the north and the south. The south, dependent on cotton and slavery, had a cash crop-based financial structure. There were no industries and factories in the south to produce weapons and bombs; their railroads were not organized; therefore, they could not move their foodstuff, armaments and men rapidly over long distances. While agriculture flourished in the south, farmers did not concentrate on producing enough food to feed southern citizens, but rather on cash crops like tobacco and cotton. Conversely, the north had enough food for its people and good factories for their armed forces to manufacture arsenals. The northern industries were buying and converting the unrefined cotton into finished merchandise. It also had an extensive railway network which could quickly and efficiently move men and military hardware. This disparity between the two produced a significant gap in economic perspectives. Primarily, this North pre-eminence didn’t seem to allow many discrepancies; like many wars in the past, those involved felt it was going to be quickly over. But compensation to the north will prove vital as the battle begins.

Economic Causes of The American Civil War

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For the entire world, it was remarkable that despite such weighty differences in the workforce and industrial skill, the south was nearly prosperous in the fighting. There was no way the south could have gotten up to the north, which had all the stuff and monetary benefits, and which did an excellent job of cutting off the south’s only advantage: cotton. Because cotton exports generated most of the southern economy, the north had planned to put up the shutters of this trade. The Union Government obstructed the southern ports to shut down this trade, as a result of which the quantity of southern cotton supplied to England collapsed. And then the only reliable source of income for south set off, which south desperately needed to beat the north.

Since the revolt, two classes have appeared: those who quarrel for the rights of lower states and those who fight that the federal government needs more power. America’ America’s first Structured Government was under Confederation Articles. And among the thirteen states, there was a loose confederation, with a fragile central government. However, when the troubles became more troublesome, this government’s fragility awakened the leaders to unite and establish the US Constitution clandestinelyYet the nation’s massive supporters, i.e. In this union Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry was absent. Many citizens thought that the new constitution did not give priority to the freedom of the country to go on and function autonomously. They believed that if states were ready to accept individual federal acts, they must have the right to fix on them. This gave rise to the nullification idea, where countries will have the right to control the federal acts as being unconstitutional. But the federal government disagreed when it granted the states that right. But John C. Calhoun fought passionately for giving the conditions that right. Even then, nullification did not work and stated perceived that respect was not granted, moving to secession.

One of the reasons for civil war occurring in America was also a question. The question was about being slave or free from the states that America acquired through the Louisiana Purchase and Mexican War. The Missouri Compromise rule suggested that slavery in states received from the Louisiana Purchase would be prohibited. During the Mexican war, the conflicts aroused about the happening with new areas that America is supposed to gain victory. David Wilmot suggested forbidding slavery in the new lands. In 1850 Henry Clay and many others prepared a Compromise to treat the free and slave states, Southern and Northern welfare equally. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 further intensified the stress because it created two new territories that would allow the states to take advantage of powerful sovereignties and determine whether or not they would be free. The genuine problem took place in Kansas where proslavery Missourians started to decant into the state to provoke it to be a slave. They were known as “Border Ruffians.” The fighting occurred in Lawrence, Kansas, was called “Bleeding Kansas.” The fight was further exploded on the floor of the legislature when anti-slavery anti-slavery promoter Charles Sumner was hit on the head by South Carolina’ Carolina’s Senator Preston Brooks.

Gradually the Northerners became more ignited against slavery. They became compassionated for abolitionists and against slaveholders. Harriet Beecher Stowe’ Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Tom’s Cabin, John Brown’ Browne’s Raid, and the Dred Scott Case are the events that caused individuals to haven escapee slaves albeit they were positioned in non-slave states. When Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860, southern was of the idea that he was anti-slavery anti-slavery and in support of northern benefits. Even before the presidency of Lincoln, seven states had withdrawn from the union, these are Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. These were the reasons which lead to the American Civil War.

Before the occurrence of civil war, the economic situation of Northern and Northwestern Americans became better than that of South and Southwestern American. During and before the war, America was still an undeveloped farming country. Around three-quarter people resided in the countryside and small towns. Ninety per cent of America’ America’s skilful workforce prevailed in North and labour force was found in the south. In the north, the labours were costly and energetic. The incursion of migrants from Asia and Europe brought competition in the labour market. African American slaves were fundamental players in the Southern economy. However, they were provided with cheap wages. The families who owned slaves in the south were known as farmers. The crucial economic issue the separated the north, and the south was tariffs. Whenever federal government tried to lift the taxes, southern would disparate it and northern would support it because southern had a fear that raised tariffs would cause their trading partners to raise the price of finished goods imported by south to increase the profit margin.

On the other hand, the north was in favour of high tariffs because that would increase the price of imported goods and the goods manufactured in the north will be seen relatively cheap—that way the people would want to buy more affordable goods rather than expensive ones. At the end of the war, the south was economically distressed and suffered a widespread loss of human life. Nonetheless, the economic problems gave rise to political issues as well. Civil war indicated the development of America economically and nationwide.

Now when we have discussed why the civil war occurred, let’s discuss that whether west acted as a safety valve for the nation or it was just a bogus. The factory system in America started very late because there was a scarcity of manufacturing assets and lack of free labour. After 1830 when the factory system started flourishing in America, works were hired for constructing railroads and water channels. In this situation, the safety valve was poorly needed by the people of America. A safety valve is used when stress reaches its zenith. And this zenith was also shown in 1877 when thousands of unwaged labours knew that there were free lands, but at the same time, they were aware of this bitter fact that they could not get the hold on them. This safety valve was steady and fixed during the great turmoil of labours in 1880. From 1830 to 1900 there was an era when no hindrance was placed in the way of peculiarity; it was an age of sloppy economy and easy retuning.

Western farms did not produce the vast population in the west on their own; they were eastern farmers who provided primary inclination. Eastern farmers, by going to the west, exhausted the eastern potential labour market. The eastern immigrants in the west did not only boost the industrial population, but it was also seen that the native birth rate was equal in ratio to the new residents. Immigrants had a low-class background which made the entire city labourer. Thus the safety valve was not working the way it should have done.

The safety valve should have been working in the 1870s and 1880s when industrial issues were at their peak, but this safety valve was loose and slack and did not show its potential. In 1890 large number of farmers moved to industrial centres, and during the tough times the immigrant farmers did not sit at home; instead, they went to give their input. But this protest expired with the coming of new reforms. Cities were trailing their attraction, and rural inclination started, and this condition continued till the 1930s and 1940s. After 1890 when the drought came in the west, the farmers became perplexed and had no way to go. After all these many great things were discovered for irrigation and also the people suffered many sorrows, and many issues regarding farmers were looked after.

Nevertheless, there was never a safety valve for industrial labours. The swift augmentation of industry and trade in the cities provided a release from excess farm population. The safety valve that indeed survived worked in an entirely different direction from the one which is described in today’ stoday’s world. Possibly the escalation of the urban economy was brisk enough to take up most of the increasing population without volatile effect. No safety valve could save people of the cities from brutal upsurges in gloominess.

  • “Economics of the Civil War” http://www.historycentral.com/CivilWar/AMERICA/Economics.html (accessed July 16, 2011)
  • Kelly Martin. “Top Five Causes of the Civil War”. http://americanhistory.about.com/od/civilwarmenu/a/cause_civil_war.htm (accessed July 16, 2011)
  • “A Post Mortem on The Labor-Safety Valve Theory.” http://www.ditext.com/shannon/shannon.html (accessed July 16, 2011)


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