Causes of the American Civil War Cause and Effect Essay by Quality Writers

Causes of the American Civil War
This paper examines the origins of the American Civil War.
# 104314 | 1,043 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Jun 09, 2008 in History (U.S. Civil War 1860-1865)

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The paper discusses the most critical causes behind the American Civil War and reveals that the seeds of war already began with the Constitution of 1787. The paper shows how the Civil War was the outcome of a series of problematic and ultimately futile political "compromises" which culminated in the breakdown of the national consensus in the election of 1860.

From the Paper:

"The seeds of the national breakdown were sown at the very beginning, in what came to be called "the three-fifths compromise" in the Constitution of 1787. This compromise, found in Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the Constitution, stated that representation and taxation for the individual states would be based upon the total census of citizens plus three-fifths (60%) of slaves (called "other persons" in the actual text.) This peculiar text (often mischaracterized as asserting that an African is only "three-fifths" of a person) was the result of a compromise between non-slaveholding states (who didn't want any slaves to be counted, in order to reduce the Congressional power of the slaveholding states) and the slaveholding states (who wanted all individuals counted, to increase their power.) In one sense, we might see the outbreak of the Civil War as being the last in a long line of such questionable political compromises which began with this Constitutional provision."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Boyer, Paul S., et al. The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People. Vol 1. Concise 3rd Ed. New York: Houghton Mifflin 1998.
  • Library of Congress. Virtual Programs and Services: The Missouri Compromise. 7 March 2006.
  • Morgan, Edmund S. The Puritan Dilemma: The Story of John Winthrop. Boston: Little Brown 1958.
  • Tulane University Online Reference. The Election of 1860: Background.

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