Perhaps the most poignant of the events in the American history I guess was the American Civil War. It created a huge turmoil in the otherwise peaceful locales of the USA and was one of the most violent and bloody of the wars of that time. It all started in 1861 when 11 southern slave states in the USA, decided to secede from the United States. They then formed the Confederate States of America. Also known as the war between states, in this war, the Confederate States of America rebelled against the United States or the Union as it was called. Union was comprised of and was backed by all free states. We know that southern states seceded from the then America. But what caused them to secede and what caused the Civil War? This article will try and attempt to find the answers by turning the pages of history and knowing why did the Civil War start.
Causes of the Civil War
Several reasons and turn of events led to the Civil War, which started in 1861 and ended in 1865. These reasons for the Civil War were mostly socio-economic and political.
The Dichotomy of Governance Rights
There was always an invisible rift between those who were for Federalism and giving more power to the federal government than the state. After the revolution, the first organized government in the USA was constituted according to the Articles of Confederation. A loose confederation of 13 states was formed along with a very weak federal government. This set up though, faced problems as the government at the center was very weak. A meeting held to rectify this situation resulted in a decision that the states would have the right to rule the Acts by the federation government as unconstitutional. However, this right was denied to the states and so the southern states felt miffed and they decided to secede.
North Vs South
Some more events that caused the Civil War were related to the economical disparity between the north and the south. While the south was a single crop economy, depending entirely on cotton and consequently on slavery, the north was industrially advanced as compared to the south. While plantation system was the characteristic of the southern states, the north had buzzing city life. This also lead to the cultural differentiation between the two and different classes too emerged. This led to another cause of the Civil War – the tussle between the slave and non-slave proponents. So primarily, the south always was at loggerheads with the north because of these factors.
The Abolition Movement
Slowly and increasingly, the northern states and the northerners became wary and polarized against slavery. There was a growing sympathy for abolitionists and those were against slavery. This too was one of the causes in what caused the Civil War, as south was against this policy.
Abraham Lincoln’s entry
In 1860, eventually, South Carolina issued its ‘Declaration of Causes of Secession’ and that was also when Abraham Lincoln was elected. The Southern states strongly believed that Lincoln was not in favor of the Southern interests and was anti-slavery. On top of it, they felt that he was supporting the interests of the north.
These were the main reasons for what caused the Civil War in the United States. But we are not done as yet! Coming up is something pretty much interesting bit of information about this war and causes and effects of the Civil War.
Civil War Facts
For any event of the same magnitude as the Civil War in the USA, there are some intriguing and interesting anecdotes and facts. Here are some of the Civil War facts!
- The first battle of the American Civil War happened at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. As a response, President Lincoln sent ships for back up there, escorted by the U.S. Navy. However, the Confederate troops bombarded the fort even before the ships were able to make it there.
- At two of the biggest face offs of the Civil War – Gettysburg and Shiloh, General Ulysses Grant’s army was more than three hours late!
- More than half of all deaths during the American Civil War happened due to diseases and not bullets, with the diseases being typhoid fever, dysentery, tuberculosis and pneumonia.
- A whopping 600,000 to 700,000 people died in the course of the war. If you add the number of wounded, the total casualty number goes up to around 1,030,000.
- The Civil War officially got over on April 9, 1865 when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant in Virginia.