As members of the Futurist of America Association, we have been assigned to look specifically at the cause of the American Civil War. There are five aspects that could have led to the Civil War and they are Westward Movement, Social Change, Froeign Policy Development, Government/Politics Development, and Economic Development. Out of the five aspects, Economic Development is the best reason for the eventual Civil War.
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First, Westward Movement could have led to American Civil War because of the Louisiana Purchase, Wilmot Proviso, Kansas-Nebraska Act, Popular Sovereignty, Compromise of 1850, Missouri Compromise, “Bleeding Kansas”, California Gold Rush, Manifest Destiny, and the Mistreatment of Native Americans. The Louisiana Purchase was done by President Jefferson because he wanted to double the size of the United States and to get control of New Orleans. Wilmot Proviso was to ban slaves from territories that might be acquired from Mexico. Kansas- Nebraska Act was the result of Douglas wanting to build railroads from Chicago to San Francisco. Douglas was a big believer in popular sovereignty, where the people have the right to decide if they want to be free of slave state, and he completely ignore the Missouri Compromise. The Compromise of 1850 stated that should be equal number of free and slave states. The Missouri Compromise said that any state above the latitude of 36 30′ cannot be a slave state. “Bleeding Kansas” was where people were fighting over the issue of slavery and cost many American Lives. The California Gold Rush occurred when gold was discovered in California and people rushed out to California. When California applies for statehood, it causes huge problems because North and the South wanted control of the gold in the state. Manifest Destiny was where Americans believe that they had the right to expand westward. The Treatment of Native Americans was horrible because Americans believe they were superior to the Native Americans. All these issues separated the North form the South because each side a different view on each issue.
Westward Movement could have led to the Civil War, but did not because of Henry Clay. When the Westward Movement occurred new states started to enter the union. This is where the problems begins. Missouri was the first state, other than Louisiana, to enter the union from the Louisiana Purchase and will give implications on the status of slavery west of the Mississippi. If Missouri enter the union as a free state, then the North will get control of the House of Representatives because they would have more representatives. If Missouri enter the union as slave, the South will get control over the House. Henry Clay saw this issue cause a huge tension between the North and South, so he came up with the Missouri Compromise. The Missouri Compromise stated that any states above the latitude of 36 30′ must be Free states. Missouri enter as slave state and to even the number of slave and free, Maine also entered the union as a free state. Both North and South agreed to this and by doing so Henry Clay helped the United States from a civil war.
Second, Social Change could lead to the Civil War because of Educational Changes, Women’s Rights Movement, Prohibition, and the Abolitionist Movement. The Educational Movement was led by Horace Mann of Massachusetts. Mann worked for the establishment of a state board of education and for taxes to local schools. Women’s Rights Movement stood for equality among the two sexes. Seneca Falls Convention was held by women for men to see that women should have equal rights. Women in the South felt the same way, but they knew the men in the South did not feel the same way as they did. Sojourner Truth, who was a Women’s Rights activist and ex-slave, became famous when she delivered a speech entitled “Ain’t I a Women”. The powerful speech rally women to fight for their rights. Dorthea Dix a woman her time to publicizing the inhumane treatment prevailing in prisons, almshouses, and unsane houses. As a result, 15 states opened new hospitals for the insane and others improved their supervision of penitentiaries, asylums, and poorhouses. Prohibition deals with the banning of alcohol . Religious groups consider drinking alcohol is a sin and women being abuse rose. Poverty and crime rose, so the Anti-Saloon League was formed. It was organize in Ohio by women, who marched to saloons to make them give up their businesses. Abolitionist Movement stated with the Quakers, who thought it was a sin to own slaves. Frederick Douglass, who a runaway slave, became one of the most effective voices against slavery. He started the Nortstar, which brought the cruelties of slavery to the attention of the North. William Lloyd Garrison published the Liberator, which started the antislavery movement, in Boston. The Dred Scot Case was where a slave from Missouri went to Wisconsin and got married. The court had to decide if was Scott was a slave or free man. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” written by Harriet Breecher tells about the mistreatment of slaves in the South.
Social Change could of led to the Civil War by the Women’s Rights Movement, Prohibition, and Abolitionists’ Movement, but did not because the ideas were consider too radical at the time. The Women’s Rights Movement did nothing to separate the North from the South. Men in the North and the South believed it was too extreme for women to have equal rights because they thought women as nothing more than child barriers and housekeepers. Prohibition was an idea that alcohol should be illegal because it ruin many home lives of Americans. Women were abuse by their drunk husbands and as result battered women spoke out. Prohibition did no separate the North and South because the majority of the men from both sides loved alcohol too much to listen. Abolitionists’ Movement not gain any support from big cities up North. So how can the issue of slavery suppose to separate the North from the South when they cannot even gain support from the North? Garrison, who wrote the Liberator, was mobbed in the streets of Boston and almost lynched. In New York City, the Tappan brothers often received threats because they supported a massive effort to print and distribute antislavery pamphlets through the U.S. mails. Citizens of New York City consider them as dangerous radicals. These ideas did not separate the North from the South, but as least the ideas were out for the people to know about.
Third, Foreign Policy dealt with U.S. policies over foreign countries. After the American Revolution, the Americans were still allies with France. In 1793, France declared on Great Britain and wanted aid from the United States, considering the French helped the Americans defeat the British. Americans stayed neutral, but the British closed French ports to neutral ships. As a result, the Americans signed a treaty with Britain called Jay’s Treaty to remain neutral. The French was disgusted by the Americans, so in 1797 French privateers seized more than 300 American vessels. Pinckney, Marshall, and Gerry were sent to get compensation for the seized ships and to get out of being allies with France. Talleyrand, the foreign minister, wanted 250,000 if they wanted to negotiate. Americans did not want pay and the Americans left France. American’s commercial relationship with France was suspended and Americans strengthens military and naval forces. In 1799, French agreed to end being allies and removed the commercial suspension. The Embargo of 1807 was the result of Britain and France not respecting the United States being neutral. United States declared war on the Barbory Pirates from Northern Africa from 1801 to 1805 because of the robbing of American trade ships. The War of 1812 was between the United States and Britain. New Englanders did not cooperate with the war effort. The Tariff of 1828 put heavy tension on manufactured goods. The tariff hurt the South more than the North
Foreign Policy could led to the Civil War but did not because at the time United States was still a young and wanted to stay as one nation. The incident between the United States and France in 1797-1799 greatly divided the leaders of the United States. Jefferson, who was in favor of the French, and Hamilton, who was not , disagreed on to support during war between Britain and France, but both did not want to see the nation they fought for so hard to be destroy in twenty years. The bad relationship between the United States and France only separated the political leaders and the entire country.
Also Government/Politics could of led to the America Civil war because of court cases such as Marbury vs. Madison, Dartmouth vs. Woodward, McCulloch vs. Maryland, and Worester vs. Georgia. Then there were the Midnight Judges, Alien and Sedation Act of 1798, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, Daniel Webster, and Political Parties all could of led to the American Civil War. Marbury vs. Madison was about Adams wanting Marbury to get the job of Secretary of State, but James Madison did not allow it. It was then taken to the Supreme Court, where Chief Justice Marshall said the Supreme Court do not have control over such matters. Dartmounth College vs. Woodward case was about New Hampshire wanting to turn Dartmounth College from a private to a state university. The case was thrown into the Supreme Court, where Chief Justice Marshall ruled that the state did not have the right to change the school from private to state university. McCulloch vs. Maryland centered around the State of Maryland taxing the Bank of the United States. Worester vs. Georgia was where Georgia wanted to extend their jurisdiction into the tribal lands of the Native Americans. The “Midnight Judges” was where John Adams, who was the President of the United States, appointed many of his party members into high powered positions just before midnight of his last term as President. The Alien and Seditions Acts was o change the school from private to state university. McCulloch vs. Maryland centered around the State of Maryland taxing the Bank of the United States. Worester vs. Georgia was where Georgia wanted to extend their jurisdiction into the tribal lands of the Native Americans. The “Midnight Judges” was where John Adams, who was the President of the United States, appointed many of his party members into high powered positions just before midnight of his last term as President. The Alien and Seditions Acts was o change the school from private to state university. McCulloch v Government/Politics could of led to the Civil War, but did not because of strong leaders such as Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun. The Tariff of 1828 alone would of led to the Civil War, but John C Calhoun came up with Nullification, which said that states have the right to set aside federal laws. In 1832, because of Calhoun Congress lowered the tariff.