Civil War Dbq Essay

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The American civil war began approximately seventy eight years after the revolution that formed the United States had been won. This war was the deadliest war the United States has fought to date, and served to resolve two important questions that lingered after the end of the revolution: would the U.S. be an indivisible nation with a sovereign national government, or a dissolvable confederation of sovereign states, and if a nation created upon the foundation that all men have an inalienable right to freedom would continue to be the largest slaveholding country in the world. This Civil war had many causes, the principle among them being sectional divisions over the spread of slavery into the territories, a series of failed slave compromises, …show more content…

citizens over the issue of slavery spreading to new territories. One example of this would be the U.S. Presidential election of 1860 (Doc 11). This election was extremely sectional, and really underscored just how divided the country was over the issue of slavery spreading into the territories. Abraham lincoln, the candidate that won the election was the only candidate that opposed the spread of slavery, and was strongly supported in the north. The south however did not support Lincoln, in fact, Lincoln wasn't even on the voting ballots in many of the southern states. Another example of growing sectional divisions over the issue of slavery spreading is the Dred Scott Decision of 1857 (Doc 9). In this court case, the U.S. supreme court ruled that slaves have no rights, and that slavery was free to expand into the territories. This decision pleased southern defenders of slavery, and angered northern abolitionists, further dividing the …show more content…

One example of such a conflict is the caning of Charles Sumner (Doc8). Sumner was an abolitionist U.S. senator who gave an anti slavery speech condemning the Kansas-Nebraska and southern defenders of slavery, including the well liked senator Andrew Butler from South Carolina. As a result of this speech, one of Butler’s kinsmen, Preston Brooks, entered the senate chamber days later and viciously beat sumner over the head with his cane. Sumners injuries were so severe that he had to retire from the senate for three years in order to recover. This conflict angered the abolitionists as well as the general public in the north, while pleasing those sympathetic to slavery in the south, further dividing the country and bringing the U.S. closer to war. Another example of conflict between northern abolitionists and southern defenders of slavery is John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia (Doc 6). In this raid, Brown sought to seize the federal arsenal of weapons stored there, distribute them to slaves in the area, and start a slave rebellion that would eventually free all slaves. Brown’s raid failed, and he and his surviving men were captured by local and federal forces, then tried and hanged for treason. The results of Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry had repercussions in both

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