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See the Outline of the Civil War page and the Recommended Reading page of Great American History for research tools in this subject.
The rise of chattel slavery meant that slaves could be bought and sold as property and any children the slaves had could become property too. As Lincoln stated in his inaugural address, one-eighth of the American population were coloured slaves that were localised in The South which had particular and powerful interests.
All knew that these interests were somehow the cause of the war.
The Southern economy could have continued to prosper.
This was because the US Senate was evenly balanced between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions until 1858, when the anti-slavery block increased by four votes (34 to 30) over the pro-slavery block.
So this is how southern politicians instilled fear in their constituents.
A worthwhile research paper topic is to determine whether or not northern politicians did the same thing (with opposite intentions)?It’s no shock that renowned Historian David Goldfield was famously quoted saying “both northerners and southerners recognized slavery as the immediate cause of the civil war”.New England states and the climate of The North were largely not suited for farming and so this industry was not embraced.They were also wealthy land owners that had a vested interest in the continuation of slavery.Knowing most southerners had little interest in slaves, they had to find a way to motivate the majority to vote in favor of secession in order to guarantee the continuation of slavery.This international conflict is perhaps the most written about and studied piece of United States history.The war brought about an estimated 700,000-800,000 casualties, more than the American Revolution, World War I, World War II Vietnam put together.This certainly would have had less adverse impact than the Civil War—which ruined the South’s economy and plummeted the southern people into poverty for decades.A possible answer is “fear.” The Fire Eaters of the South (politicians like Rhett, Yancey, Calhoun, and Wigfall) were influential politicians and, in Rhett’s case, influential newspaper owners.Even though there were differences of opinion on slavery within Union states at the time and not all the states that held slaves were part of The Confederacy, it was generally clear that The North and The South held opposing views to slavery, leading to political causes of the civil war.From a philosophical perspective, slave ownership was not consistent with republicanism, a philosophy which held unalienable individual rights and liberty as its key central values.