The American Civil War was a conflict between the Northern States, on one hand, and the Southern States on the other. Different social, economic, and political considerations led to the conflict. While slavery was a key factor in the conflict, there existed other significant differences between the Northern and Southern States. One of the underlying reasons was that the Northern States wanted to preserve the Union. The Northern states advocated for a strong central government and weak states governments while the Southern preferred the opposite (Foner, 1981). Southern states in effect pushed for secession from the Union, which the Unionized North opposed. The North was willing to do everything to prevent the Southern States from seceding, including turning a blind eye on their slavery policy.
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As the two sides were taking hard stands, it was hard to devise a peaceful solution to the conflict. The Northern states feared the dissolution of the Union and the loss of economic gains from the Southern States. Consequently, coercion and eventually war was the only solution to the standoff (Stampp, 1970). The Union government based on the North wanted to enforce the constitution of the Union, by denouncing slavery, which was widely practiced in the Southern States. In taking an opposing side on the slavery matter, the Northern States wanted to uphold the constitution and attempt to weaken the Southern States economically since slaves provided them with much of the labor force.
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln won the presidency and later issued the ‘Emancipation Declaration’, which did not impress the Southerners, but became popular in the North. The President and his Republican Party convinced the Unionists that slavery was the mainstay of the South, hence the support for the declaration. The Republican was opposed to the slavery expansion plan aimed at providing the much-needed labor for the Southern farms. With no expansion, slavery was on the verge of extinction.
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