The Civil War and Its Ending of Slavery

This paper is about the civil war and about how it ended slavery with the
emancipation proclomation. I will also talk abou the physical loses of the war.

The South, overwhelmingly agricultural, produced cash crops such ascotton,
tobacco and sugarcane for export to the North or to Europe, but it depended on
the North for manufactures and for the financial and commercial services
essential to trade. Slaves were the largest single investment in the South, and
the fear of slave unrest ensured the loyalty of nonslaveholders to the economic
and social system.

To maintain peace between the Southern and Northern supporters in the
Democratic and Whig parties, political leaders tried to avoid the slavery
question. But with growing opposition in the North to the extension of slavery
into the new territories, evasion of the issue became increasingly difficult.
The Missouri Compromise of 1820 temporarily settled the issue by establishing
the 36° 30\' parallel as the line separating free and slave territory in the
Louisiana Purchase. Conflict resumed, however, when the United States boundaries
were extended westward to the Pacific. The Compromise Measures of 1850 provided
for the admission of California as a free state and the organization of two new
territories—Utah and New Mexico—from the balance of the land acquired in the
Mexican War. The principle of popular sovereignty would be applied there,
permitting the territorial legislatures to decide the status of slavery when
they applied for statehood.

Despite the Compromise of 1850, conflict persisted. The South had become a
minority section, and its leaders viewed the actions of the U.S. Congress, over
which they had lost control, with growing concern. The Northeast demanded for
its industrial growth a protective tariff, federal subsidies for shipping and
internal improvements, and a sound banking and currency system. The Northwest
looked to Congress for free homesteads and federal aid for its roads and
waterways. The South, however, regarded such measures as discriminatory,
favoring Northern commercial interests, and it found the rise of antislavery
agitation in the North intolerable. Many free states, for example, passed
personal liberty laws in an effort to frustrate enforcement of the Fugitive
Slave Act .

The increasing frequency with which "free soilers," politicians who argued
that no more slave states should be admitted to the Union, won elective office
in the North also worried Southerners. The issue of slavery expansion erupted
again in 1854, when Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois pushed through
Congress a bill establishing two new territories -Kansas and Nebraska -and
applying to both the principle of popular sovereignty. The Kansas-Nebraska Act,
by voiding the Missouri Compromise, produced a wave of protest in the North,
including the organization of the Republican party. Opposing any further
expansion of slavery, the new party became so strong in the North by 1856 that
it nearly elected its candidate, John C. Fremont, to the presidency. Meanwhile,
in the contest for control of Kansas, Democratic President James Buchanan asked
Congress to admit Kansas to the Union as a slave state, a proposal that
outraged Northerners. Adding to their anger, the U.S. Supreme Court, on March 7,
1857, ruled in the Dred Scott case that the U.S. Constitution gave Congress no
authority to prohibit slavery in the territories. Two years later, on October
16, 1859, John Brown, an uncompromising opponent of slavery, raided the federal
arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virgini , in an attempt to promote a general slave
uprising. That raid, along with Northern condemnation of the Dred Scott decision,
helped to convince Southerners of their growing insecurity within the Union.

In the presidential election of 1860, a split in Democratic party ranks
resulted in the nomination by the Southern wing of John C. Breckinridge of
Kentucky and the nomination by the Northern wing of Stephen Douglas. The newly
formed Constitutional Union party, reflecting the compromise sentiment still
strong in the border states, nominated John Bell of Tennessee. The Republicans
nominated Abraham Lincoln on a platform that opposed the further expansion of
slavery and endorsed a protective tariff, federal subsidies for internal
improvements, and a homestead act. The Democratic split virtually assured
Lincoln\'s election, and this in turn convinced the South to make a bid for
independence rather than face political encirclement. By March 1861, when
Lincoln was inaugurated, seven states—South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida,
Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas—had adopted ordinances of secession, and
the Confederate States of America, with Jefferson Davis as president, had been

In his inaugural address, Lincoln held that secession was illegal and stated
that he intended to maintain federal possessions in the South. On April 12,
1861, when an attempt was