The Civil War was a really deadly war that divided the United States in two during the 1860’s. But what really caused the war? Some say slavery, others say sectionalism or states rights etc. In reality, the civil war was destined to happen because even in colonial times people across states had their differences. All of the states were present for different reasons. For example: Massachusetts had religious freedom for Christians while Rhode Island had freedom for all religions. When all of these states were combined to make the United Sates of America, of course all the differences were gonna emerge sooner or later. Eventually, these differences reemerged as the debate over slavery was sparked.
The Northerners felt that slavery was morally wrong but the South felt that their economy depended on slaves and the North could not understand because they had no need for slaves. Abolitionists in the North wrote books, published newspapers spreading their ideas about slavery, and often assisted slaves to freedom when they ran away from their masters. Southerners believed that abolitionists were attacking their way of life and that the Federal government was not doing enough to protect their “property” from running away. Southerners were also concerned that new states were entering the Union that did not permit citizens to own slaves, because the more “free” states that entered the Union, the weaker Southerners’ influence in the Federal government would become. The United States was nearing 33 states and 22 of them were against slavery. The Northern states could easily abolish slavery because they made up 2/3 of the population now.
It can also be argued that states’ rights played a huge role in igniting the civil war. Southerners felt that the Federal government was passing laws, such as import taxes, that treated them unfairly. They believed that individual states had the right to “nullify”, or overturn, any law the Federal government passed. They also believed that individual states had the right to leave the United States and form their own independent country. Most people in the North believed that the concepts of “nullification” and “states’ rights” would make the United States a weaker country and were against these ideas. In reality, states’ rights were really intermingled with slavery. The key issue was whether slavery would be allowed in the newly created states that were joining the Union. Matters grew worse as abolitionists became more and more active in their attempts to bring about the end of slavery. Events such as John Brown’s raid further divided the country because some people regarded him as a hero and a martyr while others would call him a lunatic and a radical terrorist.
Overall, it can be argued that the main cause of civil war was sectionalism because each state had a different purpose for existing. In time, the differences would have caused conflict. As soon as the United States of America came into existence, the Civil War became inevitable. True, it could have been delayed but it could not have been avoided.