The Cause Of The Mexican-American Civil War

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The American Civil War was a conflict between the North and South that spanned from 1861 to 1865 and led to over half a million casualties (VandeCreek). The war’s causes can be traced back to events that occurred a decade or more before the initiation of conflict. One such event is the Mexican-American War, which fulfilled for the United States its own manifest destiny while directing attention towards some important political issues. The Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1847 quickly stoked the flames of sectionalism in politics with Northerners partial to free labor and Southerners seeking the expansion of slavery; the Compromise of 1850 averted an immediate political crisis, but opened the field for other controversial acts that fed to the …show more content…

At the very beginning, Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1793 that made farming cotton more profitable. This led to a greater number of plantations moving into the cotton business creating a significant need for slaves. Therefore, the southern economy became one of slavery and cotton. On the other half of the country, the North was more industrial and started purchasing raw cotton to manufacture finished goods (“Cotton Gin and Eli Whitney”). As a result, the two developed vastly different economic attitudes that meant the North was evolving as a people and a culture while the South depended on an antiquated social order (Malmed). Furthermore, this resulted in the South favoring slavery and the North being against it, which led to conflicts in Congress. This extreme disparity between the two sides was a main factor that fueled the dreaded sectionalism both politically and economically …show more content…

Upon investigating the reasons behind the war, it seems as though it was expected. The North and South were, in very simple terms, non-slave and slave. The Civil War, however, was not solely due to slavery; the war was the result of a culmination of events that separated the North from the South and further questioned the issue of slavery. Events such as the Compromise of 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act, the Mexican-American War, the Wilmot Proviso, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act all questioned slavery, but carried a deeper more political issue of imbalance of power between the North and South. At the end of the day, the sectionalism and hunger for political power between the North and the South led to extreme tension and the secession of the South hoping to protect itself and, eventually, the American Civil War

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