Before the civil war that tore the fabric of American life, there werethree sections of American people with different economic, cultural andpolitical attitudes. The balance of power was kept by different alliances, whichcame up in the pre-civil war period. The west was the balancing power and it wasits shift that decided the course of American history. While it was allied withthe south for economic reasons, a delicate balance was maintained. The minutethe west allied with the north, the shift resulted in irreconcilable differencesand led to war. The boundaries of the sections were very fluid but the basicsections in the 1840s-1860s were the north, which included New England, NewYork.
Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the west which included the present mid-westfrom Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa to Minnesota and thesouth which included Maryland to Texas and Missouri to Mississippi. NortheastThe northeast was comparatively advanced, industrially. The dominating classcomprised of the bankers, manufacturers and merchants. The growth of industry ofAmerica was mainly in the north. The northeast section was known for itstrading. The merchants realized more returns in manufacturing than the earlyagriculture so we see a gradual but definite shift to industrial investment,which signaled the beginning of industrialism.
The industrial capitalists werethe ruling class in the north. They were the aristocrats because of theireconomic dominance, which also meant their dominance in the political system. Inthe political arena they were represented by lawyers articulating their positionand their philosophy hoping to influence policy making. For example DanielWebster, the politician from Massachusetts had the entire business community ofthat area behind him.
The ideals from the time of the declaration ofindependence still remained, as there was no fear of tyranny of the majorityover the minority. Checks and balances were maintained to protect the right toprivate property. Numerous inventions were made with the number of patentsincreasing from 544 in 1830 to 4778 in 1860. Samuel Morse invented the electrictelegraph system by the 1840s, which came into use by the 1850s.
CharlesGoodyear invented the new method of vulcanization of rubber in 1839which startedbeing practiced in 500 odd places. It also resulted in the establishment of therubber industry. The steam cylinder press was invented by Richard Hoe in 1846,which helped to make the printing of newspapers cheaply. Isaac Singer inventedthe sowing machine in this period as well. The dominant economic business wasthe manufacturing of clothes, which diversified in this period with the use ofsteam as power. In the 1830s we see the introduction of railroads with coalreplacing wood as the material for generating power.
This led to the rise of thecoal industry in the northeast as the main coalmines were situated there.Agriculture in this area also diversified since it could not compete with thefertile virgin land of the west, which produced wheat, corn, cattle, sheep andhorse. There was a shift in agricultural products as with the growth ofurbanization there was a need for dairy products, food and vegetables. New Yorkbegan to produce apples, New Jersey and Maryland peaches and berries. Dairyproducts like milk and butter and cheese also were produced. Farmers who wereengaged in agriculture in the northeast either diversified or migrated andbecame the labor class of the urban areas. Women and children also worked, oftenfor long hours (12-15 hrs.
a day) getting paid $4-10 per week for skilled and$1-6 for unskilled work. The labor was too weak to get organized into unions.Some states like Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania tried to regulatechild labor by necessitating parental consent The labor supply came mainly fromthe European countries like Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, France andAustria because of the population problem in the west. From 1840-1850, it isestimated that around 2 million immigrants came to the United States especiallyfrom Germany. West The west was the balancing section in the American union asit shared common features with both the north and the south.
The economy wasagrarian like the south but with industries like the north. True, the industrialgrowth in the west was slow when compared to the north, but it was faster thanthe south whose industrial growth was minimal. Industries like meatpacking inChicago (Ill.) and Cincinnati (Ohio) and industrial centers like for meat,distilled whisky, leather, wooden goods, flour etc.
were common. The maineconomic occupation was predominantly farming with small farming communitiesunlike the large plantations of the south. The important economic activity wasagriculture with the growing of corn and wheat accompanied by cattle raising.
Due to the large number of small farmers and few planters thee was no dominantclass in the political system of the west. The agricultural products hadreadymade markets in the industrial northeast. So one can conclude that therewas greater interdependence between the northeast and the west than between thewest and the south. Though the west had a market in the European continent,their main market was still the home market. We see that there were manyimproved farming techniques like new varieties of seeds of wheat for example andbetter breeds of animals like hogs from England and Spain. The farm machinery in1850s and 60s was more efficient like harrows, mowers and cast iron ploughs.
Themanufacturing of machinery in these areas was also an important economicactivity. For example the replacing of the sickle with the macronic reaperresulted in the establishment of a factory in Chicago in 1847. The west hasalways been considered more democratic than all the other sections because ofthe fact that there was no economic domination of any one section of society incontrast to the merchant-dominated north and the planter-dominated south.
Thewest had both agriculture as well as industries though agriculture was the moredominant occupation. South Prior to 1793, little cotton was produced in theUnited States as the process of the separation of the fibers from the seeds hadto be done by hand which was too time consuming and thus ceased to beprofitable. The cotton gin invented in 1793 by Eli Whitney revolutionized theproduction of cotton.
It now became profitable to raise short staple cotton withthe soil and climate favoring this and soon cotton production stretched fromGeorgia and South Carolina westwards till Texas. With the growth of Britishtextile industry, cotton growers were assured of a market. Efficient cottongrowing could take place in both large and small plantations and slave labor wasan important part of cotton production. The move to diversified agricultureretreated to the background as cotton growing seemed more profitable.
Plantations flourished, as did slave labor. The anti-bellum south witnessed thegrowth of an agrarian economy with the rise of king cotton and a revival ofslavery. Cotton was king since production of cotton doubled every 10-12years from 1812 onwards, 50% of American exports were of cotton and the seaboardstarted a profitable slave trade with cotton planters. Economic prosperityresulted in political domination by planters. The economy of the south was verydifferent than that of the other sections though it was closer to the west as itwas agricultural.
There were three main features of the southern economy-thecash crops of cotton, tobacco and sugar, the European market for its productsand the plantation system that required slaves as a labor force. It was theslave system that distinguished the south from the other sections of the westand the north. The dominant class of society in the south was the planter class.Other important people in the south were bankers and merchants, all of who wereclosely linked to the planter class and on whom they were dependent. Theindustry of the manufacture of textiles was a very important industry in thesouth but as is obvious, it was also closely connected to the planter class. Theplanter class was not a uniform class with subdivisions based on the size of theplantation- big, medium and small plantations.
Even within the white populationthere were divisions. The banker class dominated the economic sphere of southernlife but the plantation owners had more social status and so we often see analliance between these two classes. It is firmly believed that the south had themaximum degree of culture and unity in terms of Southernism. It was thestrongest section in the United States as in the sectional solidarity and theawareness of its entity. It had a cultural unity despite the diversity, acoherence that led many historians to name this period as the anti-bellum periodwhile referring to the uniqueness of the south. Even the climate has beenattributed as a feature of this southern uniqueness.
The hot weather in thepredominantly agrarian setup is seen as another facet in the southern makeup.There was the existence of the plantation style cultivation based on the slavelabor produced tobacco, cotton and sugar which was mainly for export. Thesouthern planters had trade through merchants with England.
Urbanization had notreally occurred on the scale of the northern section. There was a ruralcharacter with few towns and cities consisting of a diffused population of 13persons per square mile including the slaves. The majority of the people wereAnglo-Saxon and Protestant. Southernism The Southernism referred to by manyhistorians consisted of certain features like the rural character, theplantation system, slavery and the social organization and the very differentproducts of this region. The rural character of the southern section isattributed to the peoples love for their land. There was also a devotion tothe English culture and a conscious effort to recreate English society in thelifestyles of the affluent of the south. The society was mainly conservative,liking the status quo with no changes in their style of living.
The society wasquite orderly with a clearly defined class organization though not a rigid one.Social mobility was possible but not as easily as in the north or the west asthere was minimum class competition. Often the climate has been given to explainthe comfortable life enjoyed by the southern people. Everyone had an easy lifewithout much effort, as they were free from the necessity of conquering theenvironment, as the soil was very fertile and easy to till. The southern peoplehad a lot of spare time to enjoy life. Though this would be an exaggeration, itis true that there was a lot of leisure time especially among the higherclasses. There was a belief or a passion for pleasure more than toil with a firmconviction that it was more important to have pleasure than to have profit.
Thesecond feature often put forward to explain the uniqueness of the south is theplantation system with salves as the labor force. U.B. Phillips believes theslave system to be the main reason for the Southernism talked about. The southwas the only area where slavery was institutionalized and a vast number ofslaves of different color and race were found here. The people of the south weredetermined to keep the south as the white mans south.
Slavery was more than alabor force-it was a device of white supremacy. Slavery was an institutionsupported by white people and the unifying factor for all southerners be itplanter or poor white was their superiority over the blacks. From 1820s onwards,slavery was being criticized within the United States. It was condemned by thenortherners who were supported by the Latin Americans, British and otherEuropeans. Slavery had been abolished all over the world and the only placewhere it remained was in the south section of the United States. The people ofthe south were aware of the criticism directed at their institution and knewthat they defied world opinion. They were under tremendous pressure and sufferedfrom guilt over the issue.
They were probably uncomfortable with their separateidentity. The dilemma deepened when the majority of the south did not wantslavery and its criticism while for the planters, abolition was impossible. Theyrealized the isolation due to this issue but could not solve the problem.
Thesocial organization of the southern society was very different from other areasof the United States. There were 8 important groups of free population in thesouth. Slaves were considered as property and the differences within their groupwere not taken into account. The eight main groups of society were- 1-MajorPlanters They were the apex of society and were the aristocrats of thesouth. They were called cotton or tobacco nabobs. They lived in huge palatialmansions using slaves for their plantations. They numbered not more than 8,000in the 1860s.
This class was the ideal of the south and every white manaspired to be part of this elite. 2-Medium planters. 3-Small planters-Togetherthe medium and small planters were 18,000 people. The planters got the besteducation in the south. In a typical planter family, the elder brother becamethe planter while the younger brothers generally tried for Senaterepresentation.
They were trained to represent their class. The plantersclass was dependant on the merchants and the bankers for their life of luxury.They were the trendsetters and led public opinion. This class considered itselfsuperior to the rest but the class distinctions were not rigid.
If someone movedinto a new area, he could hope to become a major planter slowly. This classformed a leadership top southern white society. They were the focus of all moraland social aspirations of southern society. They were the ruling class and thesystem continued to exist because of their superior feeling. The small farmerswere not exploited and his ambitions did not interfere with the major and mediumplanters so the system continued. The major and medium planters had the lionsshare of income but since the small farmers were quite well off there were noeconomic grievances against slavery.
In fact, there were more slaves ownedtogether by the medium and small planters together than the major planters asthey aspired to be major planters. This class liked the English culture gleanedmainly from English literature and imitated their way of life. Most white peoplewere of the pure Anglo-Saxon race and racial discriminations became a way oflife with them. Slavery was a part of their cultural and social life and it wasvery difficult to break this. 4-Manufacturers and bankers-Industry in the southexisted basically in a formative stage. Few businessmen invested money outside aplantation.
Planters with excess cash preferred to invest in slaves. Factoriesfor manufacture of textiles, iron, flourmills were set up in Virginia, NorthCarolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Brokers and merchants were very importantpeople as they marketed the cash crops of the south. This class was mainlysituated in New Orleans, Charleston, Savanna, etc. They became bankers orplanters.
They aspired to become planters, as it was a socially dominant class.Though they played an important role in southern economy and society, they werenot recognized. After the 1850s, they were a neglected class. 5-ProfessionalClasses-It comprised of lawyers, editors and doctors. They were linked to theplanter class as their well being depended on the planters prosperity. Theygenerally agreed with the views of the planters and could be from a planterfamily. 6-Highlanders-They lived in the southern mountains in the Appalachianrange in Mississippi.
They were a group of whiter people whose cultural patterndiffered greatly from southern society. They had a crude subsistence culture. Asthey lived outside the main community, they were considered primitive and didnot own any slaves. They believed in the old ways, ideas and values. They had analmost emotional devotion to nationalism and did not believe in Statesrights. They were the only people in the south who defied sectionalism andduring the Civil War they resisted secession. They mainly lived in the areascovered by West Virginia and Tennessee.
7-Poor Whites-They were a degraded classand after 1850, numbered almost half a million. They were different from poorfarmers and ranked just above slaves. They were characterized by laziness,ignorance and lack of ambition.
They were often called “uncomplimentary”people, “crackers”, “white trash” and occupied infertile land usuallyswamps and barren tracks. They did not have a balanced diet and engaged inhunting, fishing and growing vegetables at home. Their origin is obscure and onetheory suggest that they were the less competitive frontier population who werepushed back because they were less enterprising. They were often afflicted bydiseases like hookworm, malaria, etc. and their situation only improved in thetwentieth century with proper food and health care. 8-Free Negroes-They were adisplaced group as they were not slaves legally but race-wise they were not freeeither.
They often had to prove that they were free. It is estimated that therewere almost 250,000 free Negroes in 1860. They mainly lived in Louisiana,Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri and North Carolina. Very few ever attained wealthand prominence and the majority lived in poverty. Many avenues were closed tothem by law and they were viewed by the Whites as a danger to the institution ofslavery. Citizenship was denied to them and they were forbidden from attendinglegislative assemblies without permission from and supervision by Whites.
Theycould not hold property in White areas. The crops grown in the south weregenerally cash crops like tobacco, rice, sugar and cotton. Agriculture wasdiversified in Virginia and central Kentucky. Most farmers tried to produce foodgrains for their family and their slaves so 80% of all peas and beans came fromthe south. Other things like apples, peaches, peanuts, sweet potatoes, hops,mules etc. despite aspiring to self-sufficiency, corn and salted pork for theslaves had to be imported from the northwest.
Tobacco was grown in Maryland,Virginia, North Carolina, northern and western Tennessee, Missouri andMississippi valley. It was grown in the tideland of the regions and required 6months for their production. Rice required 9 months and a constant supply ofwater for its growth and was generally grown in South Carolina, Georgia andother coastal regions. The time needed for the growth of sugar was 9 months andhad the largest area under production. Cotton was grown from North Carolina toTexas and was the principle product of the south with the exception of thecoastal area.
It was produced in Alabama, Georgia, northwest Mississippi,southwest Tennessee, southern Arkansas, Louisiana and eastern Texas. The farmingmethods employed which resulted in the exhaustion of soil as no crop rotationwas practiced. Some improvements were suggested by Edmund ruffle in”Farmers Register” like fertilization, rotation and deep ploughing.Slavery as an institution was established by law and was regulated by law. Theslaves had no property rights, could not leave their masters premises withouthis permission, could not congregate with other slaves except at church,couldnt carry firearms, couldnt strike a white man even in defense, werenot allowed to read or write, were denied the right to testify in court againsta white and were not allocated any provision for the legalization of theirmarriage and divorce. Anyone who might have slave ancestry would be a slaveuntil he could prove otherwise. If a master killed his slave, he could not betaken to court.
Most laws pertaining to slaves and their treatment were unevenlyapplied and were not enforced strictly. A slave’s fate rested on his master andmost slaves were treated harshly. They could be punished by flogging or brandingif they tried to run away or resist. Major offences committed by slaves like oneslave killing another were referred to court. The daily routine of a slave wasregulated by his master. The head of the administration was the owner.
If he wasa small planter, direct supervision of the slaves was carried out. If theplanter was a medium or large planter, an overseer and an assistant were hiredfor example if the planter was involved in politics fulltime, the planter ownedlarge estates or needed the help. The slave drivers or the foremen were usuallyslaves themselves and could have sub slave drivers etc. The methods for makingthe slaves work were of two types-the task system where the task to be done bythe slave could be done in as much time as it took in a day and this was usedfor rice production or the gang system where slaves worked as groups with slavedrivers and they worked for a specific number of hours decided upon by theoverseer and was used for the growing of sugar, cotton and tobacco. The physicalcondition of the slave was supported by an adequate rough diet of corn mill,salt pork and molasses and the slaves were encouraged to grow their own garden.Fresh meals could be issued on special occasions. Slaves started working earlyin life with light work, which increased as they grew.
Their workday was oftenas long as northern farmers with time off to hunt, fish, attend church and othersocial activities of the white family. They wore cheap clothes and shoes andlived in log cabins or slave quarters. Their medical care was looked after bythe mistress of the house. Generally the conditions of the house servants weremuch better than the badly exploited field hands. Slaves could be privilegedbutlers, nurses, skilled craftsmen and filed workers.
It may be pointed out herethat according to figures, very few people actually owned slaves. In the 1860s,of the total population of 8 million people of the south, only 4.3% ownedslaves. Of this miniscule numbers, most people had around 2-9 slaves.
In the1830s, for the first time, political and intellectual leaders began to opinethat slavery was not an evil but a good and it should be regarded as a permanentinstitution. This proslavery propaganda was accompanied by a hardening of publicsentiment. The support of the south for the institution of slavery came not justfrom the whites who owned slaves. They were supported by the white population ofthe south who saw slaves as an inferior race and this fed their sense ofsuperiority. They also feared competition from freed slaves for their trades.
The economic viability of slavery is a debatable issue. Slavery as an efficientlabor system was not feasible, as the slaves did not have enough compulsion todo more than would be extracted from them by force. Slavery made the southseconomic system less flexible and progressive.
The success of plantationagriculture hindered the growth of a more diversified economy. The reluctance ofwhite men to work as a free labor force due to the social stigma attached to itmeant that the economy never progressed beyond the rural character toindustrialization uniformly. Huge profits were made by businessmen at theexpense of the planters who were often indebted to the merchants both of thesouth and the north. Causes Of The Civil War Economic Charles Bearde giveseconomic issues like the high tariff, the homestead law and the transcontinentalrailroad as the causes of the civil war. The high tariff issue has always been abone of contention between the north and the south. The primary source offederal revenues until the outbreak of the civil war was duties imposed onimports. This taxation gave protection to internal industries against foreigncompetition, which favored the north as they had the maximum of industries.
Actslike the embargo act and the non-intercourse act encouraged the growth ofmanufacturing in the north. The south not anticipating any major developmentswere strongly opposed to protectionist measures. They also believed that thehigh tariffs increased the prices of their imports and restricted the market fortheir exports. This issue brought the north supported by the western states inconflict with the southern states. The immense land acquired by the governmentby the end of the Mexican war was to be distributed according to the homesteadlaw. The north favored the giving away of land at a cheap price to the commonpeople while the south wanted the land to be given to the highest bidder so thatplantation land could be expanded. According to the homestead law, any personwas given 160 acres of land, which he had to cultivate for 5 years and he paid asmall fee on the acquiring of land.
The law was criticized by the south, astheir aim of extending plantation style agriculture was defeated. Transcontinental railroads were to be built with federal aid across the Americanland. The north and the west were unanimous in their support to the building ofthe railroad, as it would greatly benefit their development. The south did notsee any benefit to them and refused to pay taxes for something that they saidthey did not need. These economic causes have been criticised as the tariffswere not always high except in 1816, 1828 and 1832 and was usually lower.
Alsowhen the markets for southern goods declined in Europe and the south turned tolocal markets, the railroads were supported by them as well. Westward expansionIn 1819, there were 22 states in the American union, 11 of which were freestates and 11 were slave states. Due to the increase of population in the freestates, their representation in the house of representation was greater thanthat of the slave states.
But in the senate, where every state had a singlevote, a balance was maintained between the slave states and the free states. Tomaintain this balance, admission of new states was usually done in pairs as faras possible with a free state entering the union along with a slave state. Manycompromises were made like the Missouri compromise of 1820. This compromisemeant that the states above the 36º30′ were to be given the status of a free state andthe states below this line were to be slave states.
This became the center ofcontroversy later on as its repeal further widened the schism between the northand the south. Texas was admitted as a slave state when after vacillation theAmerican union was not admitting it, they applied to Britain and this worriedthe Americans enough to allow Texas to enter the union unaccompanied by a freestate. The ending of the Mexican war resulted in Texas asking for moreterritory, which the northerners were against, as it would mean the extension ofslavery. The fact that the capital of the country still had slavery wasaccording to the north a disgrace. The north-south rift grew when many northernorganizations helped fugitive slaves to escape to Canada. The question ofwhether the congress had the authority to decide if slavery should be allowed ornot was very worrying and which led to the controversial Dredscotts decision.
The Wilmot proviso saying that areas acquired from the Mexican war should befree states was opposed by the south. Clays compromise, fugitive slave act, theKansas-Nebraska act. Slavery- describe the institution of slavery, slavery asa cause of the civil war” tutorial.
One can conclude that though slavery wasnot the sole cause of the civil war, the issue of slavery was both an importantfactor in the sectionalism, which was one of the reasons for the war, and itsymbolized and disguised many other differences between the north and the south.Political Causes Ever since the federal convention in 1787, there had been atacit political balance between the 2 great sections along the old Mason-Dixonline and the Ohio River, which divided the slave holding states and territoriesfrom which slavery was abolished and in the process of extension. Ever since thebirth of the nation, a series of compromises had held the 2 sections together.At the time of framing of the constitution, the conflict was settled by decidingthe percent of representation to the House of Representatives and accordinglyonly three-fifths of the black population would be taken into account and thesenate would have equal representation from all the states irrespective of sizeof population. This system worked well so long as the number of free and slavestates remained equal but at the close of 1819, when the territories of Missouriand Maine applied for statehood, tension between the 2 sections mounted again onthe grounds of whether they should be admitted as free or slave states which wasresolved by the Missouri compromise of 1820. By the late 1840s, the sectionalconflict was beginning to affect national political parties. The Whig party wassplit into those who opposed slavery openly and those who supported it becauseof their trade with the southern planters and the latter had powerful backingfrom the south. The democrat party was becoming more and more an instrument ofthe south. The northern democrats became resentful of the pro-south leaning ofthe party and this led too their joining with the abolitionist Whigs to form theRepublican Party in 1854. The problem of slavery in the new territories wasreopened in 1848 when Oregon, California, new Mexico and Utah needed to beadmitted to the union. The Missouri compromise was unacceptable to the both thenorthern and southern extremists. This issue was avoided in the election of 1848when the Whig partys Zachary Taylor was elected as president. The emergenceof the free soiler party, which polled enough votes to ruin the chances of theDemocratic Party, is important in this election. The question of admittingCalifornia and New Mexico had to be resolved but the situation became moredifficult when California adopted a constitution in 1849 by which it became afree state and in 1850, the people of New Mexico did the same. Henry clay triedto introduce a compromise which would solve the above problem as well as theproblem of slavery in Washington D.C., the boundary between Texas and newMexico, the war expenditure of Texas which was not being assumed by thegovernment and the personal liberty law and how it was to be applied to thefugitive slaves. Clays compromise was greatly discussed and debated and finallyaccepted in 1850 with many concessions to the south. California was admitted asa free stat, New Mexico was organized as a territory when Texas relinquishedcontrol over it in return for $3 million as the war debt. Utah was organized asa territory. Slave trade in Washington D.C. was abolished and in return thenorth had to enact a stringent fugitive slave act by which a Negro accused ofbeing a fugitive was denied his day in court and his status was to be determinedby a united states judge or a circuit court commissioner who would usually bebribed. Federal marshals had to do their best to catch fugitive slaves and anycitizen who helped a fugitive would be heavily penalized. Though this compromisesolved the immediate problems of the nation, it did not stem the crisis ofsecession of 1860. The transcontinental railroad problem was another issue,which showed the sectionalism rife in the United States. There was a widespreaddesire for sectional harmony after the Missouri compromise of 1820 and this wasevident in the election of 1852. The democrats reaffirmed the compromise andnominated a dark horse, Franklin pierce of New Hampshire to break a deadlockover the selection of leaders. The Whigs were weaker in the defense of thecompromise in comparison and lost when they nominated Winfield Scott. Thedecline in the anti-slavery feeling was obvious when the free soil partysvotes dropped dramatically from their maiden election of 1848. Nicaragua andHonduras- the pierce administration of 1853-1857 pursued an aggressive andexpansionist foreign policy, which was mainly for the benefit of the south.Southerners were very interested in acquiring Cuba where slavery was legal andthe government was negotiating for its sale to America by Spain. Though thisfailed, it was publicized and the northerners thought that the southerners weretrying to acquire a new slave state and insisted that there was a southernconspiracy. Southerners were also interested in areas in the South Americancontinent where slave states might be carved out. A southern adventurer, Williamwalker led an expedition to Nicaragua in 1855, where he was dictator for sometime and tried to raid Honduras as well. All these incidents were seen by thenortherners as a move by the southerners to extend slavery and avoid abolition.*The expansion of American business was spreading from an early time. In 1819missionaries went to Hawaii where they established connections, which laterhelped in annexation. In 1830, china was being opened up and commercial treatieswere being signed. In 1853, commodore Perry led a naval expedition to Japan,which led to the signing of a commercial treaty. In the Canadian border, therewas a conflict between England and America over the fishing rights of theAmericans. In 1854, the problem was solved through the reciprocal treaty, whichgave the privilege to Canadians for passage of goods from and to the UnitedStates without the custom duties in exchange for American fishing rights. * Thetranscontinental railroad question was also being discussed and the route forthe railroad was to be decided. The northerners wanted a northern route for therailroad, which would run through Chicago or st. Louis while the south wanted aroute through New Orleans along the Mexican border till Los Angeles. In 1854,senator Douglas (Ill.) presented the Kansas-Nebraska bill, which recommended therepeal of the Missouri compromise with the issue of slavery to be decided bypopular sovereignty in the new regions to be created- Kansas and Nebraska. Thisbill was strongly backed by the pierce administration and was passed despitehuge opposition and hostile public opinion. The bill did not specify whenpopular sovereignty should be applied to the territory. While the southernersfelt that slavery should be allowed and only when admission was sought, thenpopular sovereignty should be exercised, Douglas believed that the firstsettlers should decide and that the earliest elections were important. Utah, NewMexico and Nebraska were not being discussed by the southerners as possibleslave states because the region was too arid. But Kansas was situated close tothe slave state of Missouri and the soil was suited to slavery. Northernanti-slavery states set up aid societies to help northerners to settle in Kansashoping to make it a free state. The settlers were mainly against both slaveryand slaves and had no sympathies with either the abolitionists or thesoutherners. In the election of 1855 in Kansas, many Missourians came and votedfor slavery electing pro slavery candidates. The government formed was proslavery and supported by the pierce administration. While the abolitionistsformed their own government and drafted a free state constitution, the proslavery government established a slave state and drafted a constitution. Initialhostility between the two governments in Kansas escalated into full-scaleviolence and Kansas was referred to as “bleeding Kansas”. John brown, anorthern abolitionist further worsened the situation when he led a band of armedmen and killed 5 proslavery inhabitants of Kansas in 1856. In 1859, he capturedan arsenal in Virginia and hoped to lead an attack to free the slaves in thesouth. Though he was caught and executed, he was martyred by the north andvilified by the south further deepening the rift between the two sections. In1856, senator Charles Sumner who was a radical anti slavery proponent wastalking of violence in Kansas, accused senator butler of South Carolina.Butlers nephew, Preston brooks beat Sumner unconscious later. This act ofviolence shows the deep feeling of the two sides. The north, infuriated by thepassing of the Kansas-Nebraska bill and the fugitive slave bill passed manypersonal liberty laws, which made the capture of fugitive slaves very difficult.”Uncle Toms Cabin” was a book written by Harriet Beecher Stowe and firstpublished in 1852. It greatly increased the resurgence of anti-slavery feeling,with its emotional force and dramatic effectiveness. It was an extremelyinfluential book and fuelled the abolitionists fervor and broadened theirpublic support. The formation of the Republican Party by the combination ofWhigs and democrats and the free soilers all of whom were anti slavery occuredduring this time. Their support base was from the western farmers and easternbusinessmen. Charles Sumner and William Seward were the main leaders of theparty. In the election of 1856, the democrats nominated James Buchanan whosupported popular sovereignty, the republicans nominated john Fremont and theWhigs nominated Fillmore. Though Buchanan won the election, the success of therepublican candidate in the north showed that without the northern democrats,the republicans were poised to defeat the democrats in 1860. The Buchanan showeda decided southern bias in its work especially when the tariffs were lowered in1857, the veto of the Homestead Act and pro-southern policies. Buchanansineffectiveness in administration was further aggravated by the Dredscott’sdecision of the Supreme Court. Dredscott was a slave who belonged to an armysurgeon who was from Missouri, a slave state. He was taken by his master to thefree states of Illinois and Wisconsin and then brought back to Missouri. Laterhe sued that since he had resided in areas where slavery was prohibited by lawhe was a free man. His case was picked up by abolitionists who helped him. Sixjudges of the Supreme Court agreed that since he was living in Missouri, he wasa slave. Chief justice Taney further went on to say that since Dredscott was nota citizen of the country he did not have the right to bring the case to court.He also said that the congress could not abolish slavery from any sates sincethat interfered with the right of private property of a citizen, thus making theMissouri compromise unconstitutional and making slavery legal all over thecountry. A convention was held in Kansas by the proslavery faction, whichdrafted a constitution legalizing slavery. Buchanan supported this constitutioncalled the Lecompton constitution. The new governor of Kansas, Walkerestablished free and fair election, which resulted in the freesoilers gainingcontrol of the government, but Buchanan dismissed walker. Now the DemocraticParty split with the northern wings led by Douglas and the southern wing stillloyal to the administration. In the reelection for Douglas for the senate shiphe was opposed by Lincoln. There were a series of debates and though Douglas wasreelected, Lincoln became a national figure. In the presidential election of1860, he was elected and his election precipitated the secession of the southernstates. On 20 december1861, South Carolina unanimously voted for secession fromthe union. Less than a month later, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia,Louisiana and Texas joined South Carolina in secession, though minority groupsopposed it. The confederacy was formed with Jefferson Davis as the president.The union, under president Buchanan offered a compromise to reverse theirsecession. When this failed and Lincoln took over on 6 March, 1861he had to dealwith this problem. Lincoln sent reinforcements to fort Sumter in South Carolina.When South Carolina attacked this force, war was declared in April 1861. Four ofthe remaining slave states joined the confederacy- Virginia, North Carolina,Tennessee and Arkansas. The western counties refused to go into war andformation of a new state of West Virginia occurred in 1863. Civil war In 1861,the United States was plunged into a four-year struggle, which proved to be thegreatest civil war in history and the first modern war in which victory wasdecided by industrial strength. The north eventually won the war because sheblockaded the confederate ports and imposed economic strangulation. Theconfederate army was led by general lee while the union had many able generalslike grant, mc Dowell etc. Effects Of The Civil war The American civil warproved to be the greatest civil war waged in history. It was the war foughtbetween the northern and southern states of the American union. The sectionalconflict caused by different reasons resulted in people on both sides gettingantagonized with each other. The war raged all over the country, from Volved,New Mexico to St. Alban, Vermont. More than 3 million Americans fought the warand more than 600,000 men died in it. Also it was the first modern war in whichvictory depended primarily on industrial strength. There was also the newness ofthe war where plenty of new weapons, new strategies of destruction, newstandards of generalship combined with the birth of photography whichpermanently could remind the people with all that had been photographed. Around50,00 books have been written on this event. Although Walt Whitman said that thereal war will never get in a book, but this did not deter the people fromwriting. No one could have predicted the magnitude it brought America followingthe first shot at fort Sumter in South Carolina by the southern states (calledthe confederacy) on 12th April 1861. The war turned out to be the most definingand shaping event in American history so much so that we cannot imagine Americanhistory without it. In the 50000 books written, there are countless diaries,regimented history, biographies, social analyses, pictorial essays and otherworks that have treated the subject of the civil war in different ways. This wasan event that had such great effects on the country that it conditioned theentire culture of America. It became a focus of myth and the anchor of meaningfor the whole society; such was the power of its fascination. 10 billion dollarsof property was laid waste in the south while two-fifths of its livestock wasdestroyed. The south was completely devastated after 4 years of war. No othersingle event in the history of America has brought such momentous changes in allspheres of life. Never again was there a problem of secession. The defeat of thesouth settled forever the question of secession, giving triumph to nationalismover sectionalism. The emergence of the Negro as a free citizen, created a newdimension in the political and social life of the nation, making vast changes inthe arrangement of classes and in the course of industrial development. This isprobably why Bearde called it a second American revolution. The war destroyedthe planting aristocracy leading to the triumph of capitalist and free laborers.Also it augmented the power of the federal government at the cost of the rightsof the state. It pushed forward the power of the constitution. Thomas Cochranalso pointed out that though there was clear symptom of rising industrializationbefore 1860, it was during and after the war that the real course ofindustrialization took place. And the structure of American business began toassume a shape, which became familiar in the later years. This view is supportedby Faulkner and Hacker. The most dramatic effect of the civil war was on thesouth. It was vanquished, demoralised and had to orient itself to a new economicand social system because the war had destroyed its old basic structure. Soremarkable was the impact of the war that the post-bellum south has also beencalled the new south. Historians differ according to their pro-south andanti-south treatment. For example Thomson, who was pro-south, found that thesouthern leaders after reconstruction were honest and dedicated men but lackedthe qualities of vision. This has been challenged by C. Van Woodward. Hesuggests the southerners were not honest and characterized their leaders asredeemers, who advocated industrialization and reconciliation with the north andadopted by and large a more liberal attitude towards the Negroes. Amongst thesocial classes the Negroes were the most profoundly affected by the civil war.Apthekars viewpoint is useful in understanding the condition of the Negro inthe civil war. Dr. potter says that the civil war put an end to “chattelslavery”. It was the biggest act of confiscation in history. The civil warfreed the American chattel slaves and now there was an overwhelming shortage oflabor. Immigration was encouraged after 1864. The southern economy fell intodisarray. The confederate money and lands were valueless and its holdersimpoverished. The plantations were ruined and cotton production had declined andwhatever manufacturing that existed was destroyed. There were wounded warveterans and broken families. In many places, the civil government haddisintegrated. The war also saw the triumph of northern capitalism. However theefforts of assessment of the effects of the civil war are still continuing.