The American Civil War was inevitable and had numerous causes that led toit.
This paper will discuss three important causes of the war the invention ofthe cotton gin, Nat Turner’s rebellion, and the abolitionist movement towardending slavery. There are many causes of the war, but I feel these three aresubstantial causes. Each of these events or movements created more tensionbetween the North and the South and eventually war was unavoidable.
Theinvention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney had a great effect on slavery andagriculture in the South. The cotton gin was a machine that removed the seedsfrom the cotton. Removing the seeds from the cotton was a long and tediousprocess. This invention made processing cotton relatively fast and easy. Thecotton gin’s speed allowed the cotton plantations to produce massive amounts ofcotton. This became very profitable. To support the harvesting of all of thecotton, more slaves were needed to run the cotton gins and harvest the cotton.This brought more slaves to America and boosted the population of slaves in theSouth.
The increased number of slaves in the South actually helped heighten theproblem with slavery. Slavery was becoming more evident and people were becomingmore aware that slavery was wrong in both the North and the South. The nextcause was a slave named Nat Turner and his actions. Nat was a slave who hadfound God and religion. Gradually he built a religious following that justifieda slave revolt.
On August 13, 1831, Turner says he saw a halo around the sun. Hethought that this was a sign from God to begin the revolt. This was thebeginning of Nat Turner’s rebellion.
On August 22, 1831, Nat Turner led eightslaves to the Travis’s residence, a white family, and murdered five members oftheir family. The slaves then moved across the county murdering white plantationowners, their families, and other whites that crossed their path. As the groupmoved, they gained in size at every stop that they made. Many slaves joined theoriginal eight. Not all slaves joined in on the rebellion, some stayed behindfearing that they would be stopped and killed or sentenced to harshconsequences. The group of men swelled to over seventy and managed to killfifty-eight men, women, and children including Turner’s slave owner. The killingspree went on for forty hours before the Virginia Militia apprehended the group.
Nat Turner was able to escape capture by the Militia. Turner was able to evadeauthorities for eight days in the area near Southampton. This was until BenjaminPhipps spotted and captured Turner at gunpoint. Once in the hands ofauthorities, Turner confessed and told all of his motives for the killing spree.
This killing spree caused many spin-off effects. The first effect was thetreatment that the southern slaves received after the revolt. It drasticallydeclined as the slave owners beat their slaves to put more fear into them toprevent another revolt. The next effect was the owners’ fear of another revolt.If more slaves had joined the revolt many more may have been killed.
There was alot of tension of another revolt. The last effect that the revolt stirred up wasa heightened awareness of poor slavery conditions in the South. It drew theattention of the north to make an effort to start the abolition of slavery.
Theabolitionists played an important part in influencing the Civil War andabolishing slavery. They worked hard to bring attention to cruelness of slavery.They protested from the late 1700’s until the end of the war to get slaveryabolished. Emancipation was achieved by all of the northern states by 1804.
Next, slave trading was abolished 4 years later. As time goes on, theabolitionists become more radical and eventually get louder and attract morepeople on to follow the path to free that slaves. Flyers, articles and petitionsbegan spreading the word of abolishing slavery. All of the work of talking andabolishing forced the friction between the North and the South to increasesteadily. Eventually the friction increased to until the American Civil War wasstarted. The causes of the civil war are much broader than this essay. Thisessay does cover three important causes.
I chose to use points from all aspectsof tension. Agriculturally, the cotton gin increased the number of slaves andmade them louder and more visible. Individuals can make their voice heard as NatTurner turned against his owners and made a stand against slavery. Finally, thehard work of the abolitionist to get laws passed and voice their views ofslavery which caused a lot of tension that divided the North and the South.These causes led America to divide and move into a long bloody battle that endedwith the Union winning and the abolition of slavery.
The effects of this war arestill felt in America today