There are numerous long term and short term events that caused the Civil War to occur. From the long term impacts of slavery and the Missouri Compromise to the short term effects of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Bleeding Kansas, the Civil War was caused mainly by one significant step. Although Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Dred Scott had an impact on the civil war, it was not as significant as the election of 1860. The election was the most important event because it lead to the secession of South Carolina and also because of the drastic differences in ideology between the north and the south.
The Dred Scott decision would lead to the ratification of the 14th amendment. * The election of 1860 directly lead to the secession of South Carolina from the Union. This was one of the most significant moments leading up to the civil war. Abraham Lincoln being elected as president of the United States was a big deal in the south, so much so that South Carolina actually seceded from the Union (Historical context) (Doc 6B) South Carolina seceded before Abraham Lincoln was even inaugurated as president.
The state of South Carolina was the first to leave and the others then followed. If South Carolina had remained in the Union, the civil war may have been postponed for least a couple more years. The reason why Lincoln won the election of 1860 is because the Democratic party was split between the northern democrats and the southern democrats. This division in the democratic party left an open road for Lincoln to win the election. (Historical context) (Doc 6A) Since the election caused the secession of South Carolina it is the most important step that lead to the Civil War.
It was clear through the election of 1860 that there was a distinct difference between the north and the south. This was evident on the 1860 voting map. (Doc 6A) Also, looking at the causes of Bleeding Kansas, it is evident of the difference in ideologies between the north and the south. The north was trying to convince the residents that had moved to or lived in Kansas to vote for no slavery, while the south was telling southerners that supported slavery to move to Kansas and caste a vote for pro-slavery. *
Bleeding Kansas really showed the distinct differences in ideologies between the north and the south. Perspective) (doc 3) The compromise of 1850 really depicted what the pro-slavery supporters wanted and what the abolitionists wanted. It was a duel and looking at the compromise of 1850 it was evident that the abolitionists got a small benefit of the doubt. (perspective) (doc 1) These differences really helped push into the main reason why the Civil War started. The election of 1860 was a unique one because there were two democratic candidates, one representing the north and another representing the south.
This really showed the division between the north and south as well as the different ways of thinking. Although most people agree that the election of 1860 was the most significant step to the Civil War, others state that events such as Dred Scott Decision and the publishing of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, were more important and had a bigger impact on the start of the Civil War. The Dred Scott decision was a huge case that went to the supreme court after Dred Scott had won the appeal in a lower court. *
It turns out that Dred Scott lost the case because the chief justice at the time ruled in favor of Sanford. historical context) (Doc 4) Although the Dred Scott decision had an impact on the war it was not as significant as the election of 1860 because it did not immediately cause the start of the Civil War like the election of 1860 did. Others may say that the publishing of Uncle Tom’s Cabin was significant step because it showed many people the horrific life of a slave and convinced many to become abolitionists. (Perspective) (Doc 2)
Although this book may have played a factor in the start of the civil war, it was not as significant because it just angered southerners while most northerners were convinced to become abolitionists. Many people think that these were some of the most significant steps to the Civil War, however I disagree because most of these events just built tension and the event that was really significant and caused the start of the Civil War was the election of 1860. The election of 1860 had a huge impact on the start of the Civil War. It caused South Carolina to secede, and therefore pushing Abraham Lincoln to gain control of the Confederate States of America because he wanted to preserve the Union. The election also split the country into two parts, the north and the south.
This created room for many different ideologies and therefore causing people to split between the abolitionists and the proslavery. Although others may think that Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Dred Scott decision maybe the most significant events, it turns out that they were not the immediate cause of the Civil War. The immediate causes of the Civil War were Fort Sumter along with the Election of 1860, because without the election the south would not have seceded from the Union. * The most significant step to the Civil War was the election of 1860.