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Causes of the Civil War in the U.S.

The American civil war existed in the U.S. between 1861 to 1865, leading to civilians experiencing regular conflicts and fights in the country between the Northerners and the Southerners. Historically, the Northern states were considered loyal to the Union, the present-day federal government and the Southern states that had empirically seceded to establish and form the Confederate States of America. Notably, the civil war commenced principally due to the long-standing and controversial slavery topic. The black people in the Southern part of the U.S. were arrested and put in the large Whites plantations of cotton, working without pay. Historically, the civil war began in 1861 April, when the secessionist forces launched an attack on South Carolina, specifically, Fort Sumter. The fight started a month after Lincoln Abraham had been officially inaugurated as the U.S. president. Therefore, the different political, economic, and social conflicts between the North and the South led to the civil war, resulting in a divided nation.

The agricultural technology economy incorporates slavery into the division between the South and the North and the civil war. According to Cederman et al. (2017), Southerners wanted to continue practicing bondage, whereas the Northerners saw it as a vice. The Northerners desired immediate abolition of servitude in the South and the entire U.S. in general. On the other hand, the Southerners sought to continue with their oppression practices, stating that suppression helped them finance and service different operations in the region. The Southerners claimed that the Northerners were interfering with the Southern affairs. Moreover, the whites in the South were using cheap labor to make high profits out of their plantations. The southerners were using the regional unity to agitate for the act of slavery, claiming that both were contributing to the country’s success. The Northern people were unhappy about the violation of personal rights of the African Americans in the hands of the Whites. It is worth noting that the agricultural and technological economy, with the Southerners advocating for continuity of slavery, led to hatred and subsequent civil war.

Additionally, the U.S. Constitution directed to the eruption of civil war, whereby the Northerners supported Lincoln’s agenda against the Southerners. Tir and Singh (2015) opine that Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as the U.S. president, and loyalists in the North supported the Constitution against the Southerners due to the abolition Act. One of Lincoln’s strategies and great concern was to end slavery in the South, and subsequently, reduce ordeals of racial discrimination that were evident in society. The Northerners supported the pact, whereas the Southerners took it as a way of Lincoln trying to infringe their freedom and ‘culture’ of slavery. The Constitution also made it clear that the Confederate States of America’s Southern formation was illegal, indicating that anyone found advocating for state individual state governments and state division would be reasonable. The Southerners wanted to engage their leaders who were lenient on slavery abolition, hence creating animosity with the Northerners supporting the federal government. Thus, the U.S. Constitution’s Acts leading to the dissolution of forced labor caused the hatred between the Southerners and Northerners, hence simultaneously unfolding hazardous civil wars.

Significantly, sectionalism led to the rise of conflicts between the Southerners and the Northerners, whereby different social structures, economies, political values, and customs of the South and North manifested into civil wars. In the 1812 war, tension developed, resulting in a Hartford Convention, manifesting Northern dissatisfaction with the foreign trade, which subsequently affected the Northern businesspeople disproportionately (Kennedy & Cohen, 2015). Comparably, the Northern part was more financially stable than the Southern region because of industrialization. The Northerners were manufacturing all the Southerners’ machines at times in their farming. As a result, the Northerners became richer compared to their Southern counterparts. Critically, the commencement of free trade made the Northerners believe that it was giving the Southerners more freedom and advantage to engage in different businesses. The Northern people felt jealous hence starting cold wars with the Southerners, which escalated to civil wars. Moreover, the act of the Southerner’s ruling sounded like intimidation to the Northerners. They felt like their powers had been diluted due to the aspect of the Southerners occupying political positions in the Congress. Therefore, sectionalism is among the many factors that contributed to conflicts and wars in the South.

Furthermore, the territorial crisis is another critical issue that led to the skirmishes between the Southerners and the Northerners. Rietveld (2016) alludes that between the year 1803-1854, the U.S. achieved a colossal expansion of territory through conquest, negotiation, and purchase. Previously, state territories throughout the U.S. were partitioned equally, in that, most Blacks found themselves in states like Mississippi. Both the Northern and Southern regimes were having an interest in the conditions that blacks lived. The two parties had different parts in taking care of the interests of the Black-dominated countries. For instance, the Southerners were interested in getting African Americans to work for them freely. Contrary, the Northerners were interested in getting Blacks and working for them with little pays. The Northerners presumed to have a better idea of helping African Americans get financial gains instead of working for free in the Southern region. In other words, the Southerners were in a rescue mission, helping the Blacks from working in the cotton plantations belonging to the Southern Whites forcefully. Hence, the territorial crisis led to the conflicts between the Northerners and the Southerners.

Besides, there was misguidance that it was only a few Southerners that were in favor of secession. According to Cederman et al. (2017), the Union leaders assumed that most Southerners were against the secession. Hitherto, it is not true that most people in the South were against the subject of secession. At this juncture, the Northern administration, in collaboration with the federal government, decided to conquer the South, hence leading to the civil wars. The United South was, however, supporting secession; it is only that the Northern rule was not aware of this fact. Due to the South’s attack, the states swore to revenge in the South. Therefore, misunderstanding of the Southern stand regarding secession led the war.

In conclusion, it is paramount to note that the various economic, political, and social conflicts between the North and the South caused war and a divided nation. The Southerners advocated for continuity of slavery, whereas the Northerners were for its abolishment, leading to fights. The political rivalry equally contributed to the division between the two parties, in that the Northerners felt like the Southerners should not rule them. Moreover, unhealthy competition, whereby the Northerners specialized in industrial work, whereas the Southerners were competent in agricultural activities, directed towards conflict and war.


Cederman, L. E., Gleditsch, K. S., & Wucherpfennig, J. (2017). Predicting the decline of an ethnic civil war: Was Gurr right and for the right reasons? Journal of Peace Research, 54(2), 262-274.

Rietveld, R. D. (2016). Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Abraham Lincoln. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, 10-60.

Tir, J., & Singh, S. P. (2015). Get off my lawn: Territorial civil wars and subsequent social intolerance in public. Journal of Peace Research, 52(4), 478-491.

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