What are the causes of the American civil war

The Civil War was started in 1861, after decades of innumerable conflicts between northern and southern states over slavery. Furthermore, the American Civil War started owing to two major objectives. Firstly, the fundamental slogan of this war was to abolish slavery. Secondly, reuniting the Union was the basic objective. Fortunately, Abraham Lincoln’s, the 16thPresident of the USA, got success in the election of 1860.Nevertheless, As far as joint causes were concerned, there were numerous economic, social, political, and general differences that intensified the probability of civil war. As a consequence, the USA faced a lot of adverse repercussions: the mass destruction of 2.4million soldiers occurred, and many city people were injured in this regard. After a lot of destruction, the Civil War ended in 1865.

Differences between Confederate and Union states:

In the real sense, the civil war was the war between the Confederate and Union States. On one hand, the Southern part of America believed in and assisted Confederate states; on the other, the Northern part of America promoted the Union effectively. However, the Confederate states were against the abolishment of slavery. On the contrary, the Union focused to extirpate slavery. Nevertheless, it can be propounded that Southern states (the Confederates) did not want to abrogate slavery and thus legally seceded in 1861. Similarly, the Northern states (the Union) believed to reunite the country and prevent slavery in the land of America.

Read Also: The causes of war of 1812

Causes of the Civil War:

The civil war of America is flooded with historical, economic, social, political, and other responsible factors that wreaked havoc in the emergence of this monster on American soil.

1) Historically: Southern states left the union and formed the Confederate state:

After Abraham Lincoln’s government, within three months, seven Southern states relinquished the union and established the Confederate state. It is the turning aspect towards the beginning of the civil war. In other words, it was the major cause of the American Civil War outburst. As a consequence, after the war began, four other states left the Union in this regard. The seven Southern states Mississippi and Louisiana, Texas and South Carolina, Alabama as well as Florida, and Georgia – formed a rival country to the United States of America (the Union).

Besides these, the newly created Constitution of the Confederate States of America prevailed in effect from 11th March 1861 until the end of the Civil War. However, it ended with the Unionists’ triumph in 1865 – despite the Union labeling the Confederates and their Constitution as in-laws. The Provisional Constitution of the so-called Confederacy was in operation from February 8, 1861, to February22, 1862, when the Confederate Constitution took effect. Hence, it can be demonstrated that South states’ annulment from the Union played responsible role in the commencement of the American Civil War.

2) Economic differences between Union and Confederate states:

Doubtlessly, there were manifold differences in the ideologies of both augmented the civil war in America.

Firstly, the Union favored industrial development rather than agricultural prosperity. On the contrary, the Confederate states focused on the agriculture sector. On one hand, the economy of the South was built on agricultural and slave labor. On the other hand, the North had an industrial economy that relied on the working class for its prosperity because slavery was ousted there. Owing to this difference, the civil war became the destiny of American soil.

Secondly, the Union enhanced to bring reforms in the land, on the contrary, the Confederate states avoided bringing land reforms.

Lastly, the Union wanted to establish the potent Central Bank. On the other side, the Confederate states rejected it; they said that it would do injustice to the poor. Abraham Lincoln believed that the central bank is the backbone of any country’s economy. They influence the money supply in the economy either directly, through currency printing, or indirectly, through interest rate setting and fiscal spending. In a nutshell, it can be manifested that economic difference in their ideologies is the major culprit in accelerating American Civil War.

3) Social differences between North and South:

It is pertinent to demonstrate that the slogan of ‘Slavery Abolishment’ by Abraham Lincoln(The Union) from the American society and the opposition of the Southern Confederate states regarding the slavery abolishment played a critical role in the Civil War. The President supported the rights of women and workers in this respect. Moreover, he wanted to upgrade education for all. By and large, the opposition, always, opposed it in his struggle. In this way, these social differences, further, aggravated the situation and tarnished the image of the country into wrathless war.

4) Political disparities in form of the government:

Undeniably, the Union always followed ‘Democratic principles’; on the other, the Confederate states believed in Aristocratic principles in the political realm. However, Abraham Lincoln gave the real concept of democracy. Similarly, according to him, democracy is a rule of the people, by the people, and for the people. He further says that let every American, every lover of liberty, every well-wisher of his posterity swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to break the laws of the country in the least detail, and never to suffer their violation by others. On the other hand, in the Aristocracy, a few knowledgeable people rule the country. While aristocracy and oligarchy are similar in that they concentrate power in the hands of a few people, they differ in several fundamental aspects. Nonetheless, it can be said that these differences in the form of government promoted the civil war.

5) Fugitive Slaves Act(1850) caused the war:

Besides these, the Fugitive Slave Acts was a set of federal legislation that permitted the uncertainty and rescue of runaway slaves inside the United States’ borders. The original Fugitive Slave Act, passed by Congress in 1793, gave local governments the power to apprehend and return fugitives to their owners, as well as levy fines on anybody who helped them flee. Due to widespread opposition to the 1793 law, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed, which included further rules addressing runaways and imposed even harsher penalties for interfering with their capture. The Fugitive Slave Acts were some of the most divisive legislation of the early nineteenth century. As a result, owing to these acts, the war began.

6) Rejection of proposed amendment by Congress:

Undeniably, initially, Congress rejected the innumerable proposed amendments that outbreak the American civil war. Finally, in April 1864, Congress passed the 13th amendment with a two-thirds majority and abolished slavery from the root. Therefore, the rejection of the proposed amendment by Congress is one of the primary reasons for the American Civil War.

7) Proposal of popular sovereignty by Douglas:

Popular sovereignty emerged as an abysmal option for selecting whether a Western region would allow or prohibit slavery in the nineteenth century. Popular sovereignty was first advocated in the 1840s in response to debates over western expansion. It argued that in a democracy, residents of a territory, not the federal government, should be able to decide whether or not to allow slavery within their borders. The rush by both pro-and anti-slavery groups to populate Kansas and decide its fate, which manifested itself in bloodshed and fraud, was a key consequence of the application of popular sovereignty. Resultantly, it promoted the concept of civil war in America. Hence, these were the major causes of the American Civil War.

The victory of the Union after the battle of Gettysburg:

A full-scale fight near Gettysburg began on July 1, 1863. The three-day struggle gave rise to a pivotal moment in the American Civil War. It was a key battle. It curtailed Confederate momentum in the Eastern Theater and effectively ended any European intervention. It was a robust need for the Federals, and it gave support to Northern morale. As a result, the Union got the victory and added slaves to the forces in the Union.


To conclude, it can be propounded that the purpose of the American civil war was caused to abolish slavery and reunite the states. It is a fact that Abraham Lincoln played an instrumental role in the fulfillment of ‘The Declaration of Independence. Luckily, he, again, won the election in 1864 against George B. McClellan and managed the proper administration.

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