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Election Of Lincoln And Civil War

1350 words - 6 pages

How did the election of Lincoln to president in 1860 lead to civil war in the United States of America?


In 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected as president of the United States of America, the repercussions of which led to civil war. However it was not only Lincoln’s election that led to civil war but also the slavery debate between the northern and southern states and the state of the economy in the United States. Together with the election of Lincoln these caused a split, both politically and ideologically, between the North and South states which manifested into what is now refereed to as the American Civil War.

When Lincoln won the 1860 election it was not ...view middle of the document...

This can be summed up as a rift between the north and south states.

A rift between the north and the south had been present since the late eighteenth centaury. It began with the industrial revolution, which saw the northern states prosper. The north changed industries from farming and agriculture to textiles and factories. This in turn saw the rise of bankers and lawyers and northern cities such as New York became the known as the cultural centres of America. The southern states continued agriculture and many Southerners became very wealthy with the use of slaves. The invention of the cotton gin in 1792 by Eli Whitney increased the productivity by almost one thousand times. This caused more prosperity in the south. However the North also gained from this in the form of tariffs and taxes. Forty cents out of every dollar made from cotton went to the North. This sowed the seeds for resentment of the North by the South.

The South’s economy was based very much on slavery. The slaves picked the cotton and tobacco that powered the south. With out the slaves the South’s way of life would diminish. When educated northerners claimed slavery to be morally wrong the slave owners fiercely defended their way of life. When religious minorities began to emerge into the public eye the Southern states viewed them as a threat.

Quakers where a non-violent sect of Christianity that preached that slavery was wrong and morally corrupt in the eyes of god. Quakers were typically affluent and well off. They used their wealth to support abolitionist newsletters such as The Liberator, which was run by William Lloyd Garrison. Garrison was a fiery abolitionist who would make no compromise with slave owners and in his first publication wrote on the first page in large font “No Union with slaveholders. The United States Constitution is a covenant with death and an agreement with hell”.

Partly inspired by Garrison but mostly by the cruelty of his master a Negro slave started a revolution, which was named after him as Nat Turner’s Insurrection. Turner and fellow slaves rose up and killed fifty Whites. This was slave owner’s worst nightmare come true. It was seen that the slaves were going about murdering the whites in their beds while they slept. C. P. Hill writes that it was put down with savage cruelty and that Garrison was blamed by the South for the uprising

Another abolitionist attempted to free the Negro slaves in a campaign where he would gain arms for them and they would rise up to meet him. John Brown was a violent Christian fundamentalist, who had previously murdered five slave owners with his sons by hacking them to death with...

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