Civil War Dbq Essay

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The Civil War was caused by a combination of the problems of slavery, state’s rights, economic sectional differences, and political blunders and extremism. These factors combined in the 1850s to create a tense environment in which nearly every action could potentially lead to war. While the Civil War was inevitable, it was definitely partially caused by the extremism and poor political leadership of the preceding decade. However, these factors emerged out of cultural, economic, and political differences that were nearly a century in the making. There can be no doubt that extremism over issues of slavery factored into the causes of the Civil War. John Brown’s raid at Harper Ferry demonstrates this most clearly. The raid was a clear act of extremism: Brown and his men killed fifty whites in an attempt to arm slaves for revolt. Brown failed but he did, “at least begin the war that ended slavery,” (doc 6). Fredrick Douglass, commenting on the actions of Brown after the war, takes a positive view of him. Brown’s raid led to increased Northern resistance to slavery because they saw Brown as a martyr. Southerners were frightened and enraged by the raid, seeing it as further …show more content…

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin certainly attacks slavery as hard as Brown’s raid did, but it targeted pre-existing sentiments for its Northern audience. Lines such as, “Ain’t yer mine now body and soul?” (doc 2) filled Northerners with a sympathy toward slaves and anger at slaveholders that was different from their previous practical economic arguments. Anti-slavery feelings had already been present in the North before Stowe’s book but they found an outlet there and grew. The tensions created by Stowe’s book certainly led to the war: when Lincoln met her he said, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war,” but it only lent fuel to a fire that was already

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