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Racism Slavery North vs South

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Racism Slavery North vs . South

The American civil war of 1861 - 1865 was a war fought by the United States (was then known as the Union , and the eleven southern states who wanted to secede and had formed the confederate states of America led by President Jefferson Davis

The war emanated Slavery issues . The Mexican-American war of 1846 - 1848 had addressed the issue of slavery in the new territories and had led to the compromise of 1850 . The compromise had succeeded in

avoiding political crisis but it had not solved the slave power issue (the slaveholders power to control the national government

Northerners considered slavery to be a national evil . They believed that some southerners , who were also owners of large plantations , had the control of the national government and their main aim was to spread evil (slavery . In contrast , the southerners were worried about how their region was declining politically as the North seemed to be growing much faster as far as population and industrial output was concerned This led to the development of divergent North and South societies . The Northern economic system was based on free labor while that of the South was based on slave labor . The rapidly growing economy of the North focused on mining , industry , family farms , commerce and transportation had a fast growing urban population and no slavery . A high birth rate and many European immigrants were responsible for its high birth rate The South , on the other hand , was characterized by a plantation system that was based on slavery and a growth rate influenced by high birth rates and few European immigrants . Because the southern population grew slowly , it lost its control of the national government . Slave owners controlled the politics and economics but 2 /3 of the Southern whites owned no slaves . The 2 /3 practiced subsistence agriculture instead The issue however was more political , whether they were going to support the owners of plantations in slavery battling

Slavery had been labeled undesirable for some time which was the reason the Northern states had abolished it after 1776 . For the sake of unity politicians had on numerous occasions compromised on slavery issues resulting in , for instance , the Missouri compromise of 1820 and Compromise of 1850 . After 1840 , the abolititionists declared slavery as a moral wrong and not just a social evil

Abraham Lincoln in 1858 reflected that a house divided against itself cannot stand , He meant that the U .S . would have to be either all free or all slave for unity purposes

Why it may be argued that southerners were racist slave owners could be attributed to comment , for instance , by one Calhoun a southerner who argued slavery was a positive good . To him slaves became more civilized and were morally and intellectually improved by virtue of their being slaves . Northern states may have illegalized slavery but only a small portion of the Northerners opposed it strongly

The major disagreement between the North and the South before the war had been on whether slavery was to be allowed in the new territories that included New Mexico , part of California and Utah . The North , which was opposed to slavery did not want it to expand as it would mean they would have to compete against the slave labor

Northerners and Southerners had different political views . While the North welcomed a central government , that would build infrastructure such as roads plus protect its trading and financial interests in addition to controlling the national currency , the Southern did not Instead it did not see a good reason to support it as if feared the government would interfere with slavery

In 1860 , the fire-eaters ' extremists from the South wanted to secede and create an autonomous southern country . Moderates in the North and South felt that compromise on issues related to slavery tariffs and territories was the way to go , which was possible so long as neither the North nor the South controlled the senate

Acquisition of territories through the Louisiana purchase and the Mexico war and subsequent petition for statehood by these territories resulted into wider rift between the North and South . The contention was if the territories were going to join the Union as free or as slave states

The Constitution of the United States then , did not allow the federal government to interfere with slavery in any state . Thus , the only thing the Northerners opposed to slavery could do , was only hope of preventing it from spreading

The first attempt was in 1818 , when the Missouri state wanted to be accepted into the Union yet it had a constitution that allowed slavery The Missouri Compromise allowed for Missouri to be admitted to the Union as a slave state while Maine was admitted as a free state so that a balance could be upheld

Agitation against slavery was mainly in the North yet the south defended it more strongly still

The argument was that all Southern whites were racist slave owners and all Northern whites were non-racist abolitionists in not correct . For one , not all Southern whites owned slaves thus to conclude that all of them were slave owners is a fallacy as only 1 /3 owned them the other 2 /3 were in agriculture

From the above analysis of the events leading to the civil war , it is evident that some Northern whites may have supported slavery albeit not openly . They included the moderates who time and time again hoped that the slavery issue would be settled by way of compromise . It is because of these moderates that such Compromises as the Missouri Compromise and Compromise of 1850 were reached

To say that all Northern whites were non-racist abolitionists is open to debate . It is evidently clear that although slavery was illegal in the North , only a small number of the Northerners were openly opposed implying majority may have tolerated it , quietly . Only radical abolitionists led by William Lloyd Garrison were vocal on the evils of slavery calling for the immediate , unconditional and ensated abolition of slavery

It is wrong to term all Southern whites as racist slave owners because it implies that all of them were racist on top of being slave owners which was frowned upon by the Northern whites . Just because the Northerners did not own slaves does not automatically make them non-racists . A racist is may be defined as someone who is prejudiced against people belonging to a particular race . The Northern whites may have had their prejudices manifested in other ways other than the Southern way of owing slaves (black slaves ) because black people were also in the north

References

American Civil War " Microsoft (R ) Encarta (R ) Online Encyclopedia 2007

http /encarta .msn .com (c ) 1997-2007 Microsoft Corporation . All Rights Reserved

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