The Causes and Progress of the Civil War Term Paper by Nicky

A discussion on the causes of the Civil War and the developments that led to a Union victory.
# 150010 | 820 words | 3 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Jan 18, 2012 in History (U.S. Civil War 1860-1865)

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The paper asserts that the United States Civil War is often oversimplified as a war about slavery, fought between the abolitionist North and the slave-owning South. The paper highlights the complexity of the causes of this war and discusses how the Dred Scott decision, and the fallout that occurred most memorably through the Lincoln-Douglas debates, set the stage for the increased political conflict that eventually built up to the secession of the Southern states and the start of the Civil War. The paper then discusses how the progress of the war was anything but linear and details how the Western theater played a major part in the overall Union victory.

Slavery, the Territories, and the United States Civil War
The War in the West

From the Paper:

"The Dred Scott decision of 1857 was the primary instigating cause of the deepening crisis in the halls of the federal government and in the mindset of the public, both North and South, regarding the slavery issue (McPherson 2000). In a complex and far-reaching ruing, the Supreme Court decided in the Dred Scott case that slave ownership fell under the federal protection that no state could deny someone their personal property without due process. This meant according to some, that the territories that did not yet have statehood would have to be pro-slavery, while others simply abhorred the decision on face value and saw it as an attenpt to make slavery nationally protected (Hickman 2009). This was at the heart of the debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas; Lincoln warned against the type of appeasement offered by Douglas, who argued that individual states has a protected right to allow--or disallow--slavery, basically attempting to maintain the status quo (Hickman 2009). This was known as the Freeport doctrine, and it eventually made Douglas unpopular with almost everyone.
"Though it was not the sole cause of the United States Civil War, the issue of slavery in the territories and in the country as a whole was a major component of the political and social crisis that occurred leading up to and during the war. The Freeport doctrine proposed by Stephen Douglas proved itself untenable; slavery would either become nationally allowed or nationally banned, and it was largely along these lines that the Civil War was fought."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Concord Learning Systems. (2008). "Civil war battles: Theaters of war." Accessed 22 August 2009.
  • Hickman, K. (2009). "American civil war: Causes." Accessed 22 August 2009.
  • McPherson, J. (2000). Ordeal by fire. New York: McGraw Hill.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The Causes and Progress of the Civil War (2012, January 18) Retrieved October 22, 2020, from

MLA Format

"The Causes and Progress of the Civil War" 18 January 2012. Web. 22 October. 2020. <>