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Lizzy Goetz

Mr. Windenhofer

Honors U.S. History

9 January 2018

Long Essay Question

Was there only one contribution to the coming of the Civil War? The simple answer

would be a solid no. Many different things began in the early 1840’s. At this time, many

immigrants were going directly to the North because of their textile mills which came with more

job opportunities. With immigrants all going North, their population began growing rapidly and

they began making more money, a lot quicker than the South. The political powers inly cared

about maintaining an equal balance in the Senate. But, with the economic powers, the North

wanted to expand industrialism and the South wanted to expand slavery. Many factors

contributed to the coming of the Civil War and these were among the disagreements of the

political and economic powers.

One major controversy about slavery was included in the annexation of California. In

1848, California was annexed, resulting in the issue of deciding whether it would be a slave state

or a free state. Once California got enough people to become an official state, they were not sure

how to decide on being a slave state or a free state. Although many people wanted to be free,

there were also some who wanted to be slave. It was then put to a vote which introduced popular

sovereignty. This was a type of voting where the majority would win. Through popular

sovereignty, California became a free state.

Not only were people wanting to expand slavery in the South, others wanted to expand

industrialism in the North. Stephen Douglas had a view for the North and the first
transcontinental railroad. However, this idea gave the South yet another reason to be upset. To

try to calm down the South, Douglas gives the idea of two territories, Kansas and Nebraska. He

was hoping to have one as a free state and one as a slave state, to maintain the balance. But, this

would also be removing the work of the Missouri Compromise. Through popular sovereignty,

the people would have to decide which state would be slave or free. Anti-slavery and pro-slavery

citizens began violence even though Douglas tried to keep peace. This period of violence was

known as Bleeding Kansas.

Many people had become angry and did not want to sit back and watch everything

happen. So, John Brown went to Harper’s Ferry in hopes of forming a slave rebellion. When he

got there, he freed slaves and began the rebellion. This was a very important abolitionist

movement. Not only was this successful, it created the foundation of the Confederate army.

With all of these issues arising then being extinguished, people should have been more

calm. A similar thing happened with the North and South not knowing where the slavery would

stop and the freedom would begin in the states. Henry Clay stepped in with the Missouri

Compromise stated that every state above the line of 36º30’ would be free, and every state below

this line would be slave. The only difference between these two instances would be that before

the Civil War, people were not willing to compromise which would eventually lead to one of the

bloodiest wars on American soil. Not only were people unwilling to compromise, people would

be forced to sit back and not have any say in anything if they were any random person.

With the several instances that happened, there is no wonder that it resulted in the Civil

War. With the amount of disagreements between the North, the South, and even the political and

economic powers, there could have been a war much earlier. But, once people failed to

compromise, that is when it went downhill and resulted in the Civil War.