The American Civil War: Dissolution of National Politics Persuasive Essay

This paper provides an argument for the single most important cause (besides slavery) of the American Civil War; the dissolution of the national party system.
# 145903 | 1,584 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Dec 05, 2010 in History (U.S. Civil War 1860-1865)

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This paper discusses how the nature of national politics can be considered the main cause of the American Civil War. The paper examines how throughout the 1840's, the national party system quickly died as every political, economic, and social issue became a sectional issue rather than an issue that would normally be handled politically in the realm of national politics. Instead of one united country, with two differentiating political ideologies, the North and South acted as opposing political parties in which Northerners and Southerners had opposing ideologies. The paper argues that it was this lethal divide that caused the Civil War, as by the 1860's, sectional differences, dominated by the issue of slavery, were no longer a mere ideological disagreement rather, they threatened the livelihood of Americans in both sections of the disunited country.

From the Paper:

"Sectional tensions over the slavery issue clearly defined itself as the "make or break issue" come the 1860 elections. Though there were four candidates on the ballot from four separate sectional parties, only one candidate, Abraham Lincoln of the Republican Party, stood on a platform that was against the spread of slavery in states where it had not already existed. Lincoln, born in a log cabin in Hardin County Kentucky in 1809 was formerly a Whig and successful lawyer in Illinois both riding the circuit Court practicing most all kinds of law while also practicing railroad law throughout the transportation revolution in which the construction of new railroad systems went buck wild. (McPherson). Lincoln is characterized by many historians as being a hypochondriac chock full of personality, broodiness, and honesty that he had earned throughout his early life and through both his professional and political career (McPherson, p 6). "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Edward L. Ayers, What Caused the Civil War? Reflections on the South and Southern History. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2005: 131-44. Print.
  • Ira Berlin. "American Slavery in History and Memory." In Slavery, Resistance, Freedom. Edited by Gabor Boritt and Scott Hancock. New York: Oxford University Press, 1- 20. Print.
  • Senator John C. Cahoun. "A Warning to the North." Speech before the United States Senate, March 4, 1850. Print.
  • "A House Divided." Speech by Abraham Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois. June 16, 1858. Print.
  • Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1861). Print.

Cite this Persuasive Essay:

APA Format

The American Civil War: Dissolution of National Politics (2010, December 05) Retrieved April 17, 2024, from

MLA Format

"The American Civil War: Dissolution of National Politics" 05 December 2010. Web. 17 April. 2024. <>