DBQ #2

“The Civil War was not inevitable; it was a result of extremism and
failures of leadership on both sides is a valid statement in regards to the
Compromise of 1850, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and Bleeding Kansas.” The American Civil
War was the culmination of deepest and disparity socially, economically and
politically between northern and southern states. The people and politicians
from northern and southern states have very different interpretations of the
Union. The North had large domestic market for finished goods and had
diversification. Whereas, in the South, there was limited diversification.

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            In
the North and South, farming was still the main profession, the family farms of
the North were miniscule in comparison of the mammoth tobacco and cotton plantation
of the South. The binary view of the country led to the development of two
separate cultures. Webster seventh of March speech turned the tide in the north
toward compromise. According to him slavery is evil but disunion is a worse
evil. He wanted compromise at all cost and according to him secession is
impractical and impossible. The south vigorously opposed the compromise. The
first fighting over the slavery issue took place in Kansas. In 1854, the
government passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act allowing the residents of Kansas to
vote on whether they would be a slave state or a free state. The region was
flooded with supporters from both sides. They fought over the issue for years.
Several people were killed in small skirmishes giving the confrontation the
name Bleeding Kansas. Eventually Kansas entered the Union as a free state in
1861.

            Uncle
Tom’s cabin left enduring impression on the North and their view of slavery.
Thousands of northerners joined the abolitionist guilt and rhetoric in northern
free states. This year marks both the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the
Civil War and the 200th anniversary of the birth of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the
author of the anti-slavery novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” which created
such a stir when it was published in 1852 that Abraham Lincoln reportedly
called Stowe “the little lady who made this great war.” Many people
of that era attributed it to “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” because Stowe’s
novel changed the political scene by making the North, formerly hostile to
antislavery reform, far more open to it than it had been. The novel paved the
way to an antislavery candidate like Lincoln. Simultaneously, it stiffened the
South’s resolve to defend slavery and demonize the North.

            The
slavery split the country in half. Republican party emerged as a third party.
Republican’s nominated Abraham Lincoln. Moderates wanted to halt spread of  slavery. Lincoln did not even appear on
ballot in most southern states but won presidency. This angered southern states
and they begin to secede from union. Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was the
sixteenth president of the United States during one of the most dun-dun-dun
periods in American history, the Civil War. Before being elected president,
Lincoln served in the Illinois legislature and lost an election for the U.S.
Senate to Stephen A. Douglas. Nevertheless, his fierce campaign earned him a
nomination for the presidency. The first Republican president ever, Lincoln led
the Union to victory in the Civil War and ended slavery in America. Despite
being remembered today as “The Great Emancipator,” Lincoln maintained
a moderate stance on the emancipation of slaves, never vowing in his campaigns
to abolish slavery, as it was vital to the Southern economy. He even stated in
his presidential inaugural address that he would not use his executive power to
interfere with the institution in any state where it existed. Still, Lincoln
vehemently opposed the expansion of slavery into new western territories and
served as one of the most influential advocates of “free soil.” For
this reason, the president posed a significant threat to the economic and
political interests of the slaveholding South. So, in response to his 1860
election victory, seven southern states seceded from the Union. Lincoln was
determined to prevent disunion by any means necessary, but his attempts at
negotiation failed. In the first months of his presidency, the nation was at
war with each other.

            Stephen
Douglas stated that despite the court’s ruling, slavery could be prevented from
any territory by the refusal of the people living in that territory.
Unfortunately, it was highly opposed and led pro-slavery forces fighting
against anti-slavery forces.

            With North no longer obliged to
return slaves to their owners in the south Douglas fought for equality for his
people. He convinced Abraham Lincoln that slaves should serve in the union
should be the goal of the war. A common assumption to explain the cause of the
American Civil War was that the North was no longer willing to tolerate slavery
as being part of the fabric of US society and that the political power brokers
in Washington were planning to abolish slavery throughout the Union. Therefore
for many people slavery is the key issue to explain the causes of the American
Civil War. However, it is not as simple as this and slavery, while a major
issue, was not the only issue that pushed American into the ‘Great American
Tragedy’. By April 1861, slavery had become inextricably entwined with state
rights, the power of the federal government over the states, the South’s ‘way
of life’ etc. – all of which made a major contribution to the causes of the
American Civil War.

            The
people of the state of South Carolina declared that frequent violation of the
constitution of US by federal government and lists grievances against north. Therefore, the result of extremism and failures of
leadership on both sides led to the civil war.