Slavery's Contribution To The Civil War

790 Words4 Pages
Perhaps the single most important contribution to the outbreak of the Civil War in the United States was the issue of slavery. Though it cannot be said that slavery was the only cause of the Civil War, it can be said that it played an undeniably imperative role in. The other factors that contributed to the Civil War, particularly the economic and social issues of the time, were often intersected with slavery. Indeed, it seems that slavery so permeated the country at the time that it was difficult to find a political issue that was not connected to it in some way or another. It was thoroughly fixed in the economy of the time before the war—so much so that many believed ending slavery could only be a grave mistake. The primary contribution to…show more content…
An event such as the 1820 Missouri Compromise was a temporary fix for the issue. Other attempts at resolving the issue, such as the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Bill and Dred Scott decision, became a catalyst for violence and corruption. Many historians point to the Kansas-Nebraska act as a pivotal point in the events leading to the Civil War (Gienapp, 1985). This was because the act proposed repealing the sectional lines from the Missouri Compromise. It would also leave the issue of slavery up to popular sovereignty, causing the Bleeding Kansas disaster. The original intention of the Missouri Compromise line (the 36° 30 ' line) was to draw a barrier for slavery. This quickly became one of the greatest sources of tension between pro-slavery and antislavery groups during that time. The Dred Scott Decision was another source of great conflict. Kaczorowski (1987) writes of this decision when he…show more content…
Gienapp (1985) notes that the Republican Party, in only two years, “constituted the chief opposition to the Democrats, and by the end of the decade it was the most powerful party in the nation” (p. 531). The 1856 presidential election proved the Republicans were the chief opponents of the Democrat party (Gienapp, 1985). Such efforts were largely due to Salmon P. Chase, who—in the beginning of the party’s formation—was the principal promoter of the new antislavery party (Gienapp, 1985). This party was incredibly significant during the 1800’s because it was the first antislavery platform that became sufficiently popular to rival (and in some cases, even eclipse) the Democrat Party (Gienapp, 1985). This fact was only solidified by Lincoln’s election. The success of an antislavery platform such as the Republican platform was absolutely crucial to the Civil War. Without such a party, it could be argued that the Civil War may not have begun at all—for the Democrats (and proslavery advocates) likely would have won before it
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