The Civil War

Fundamentalists state that the conflicts that led to the Civil War were the irresolvable cultural and ideological differences between the North and the South. Slavery was the most critical issue. However, revisionist historians doubt that either factor was sufficiently capable of causing the war. Instead, they think that politicians and sectional extremists ignored the manageable situation leading to the problems thereafter. After examining the growing conflicts throughout the US, it is evident that every section assumed that the other’s extension to civilization to the West would pose a huge threat. Therefore, there arose the conflicts that led to the war over the complicated slavery extension. The North’s political objective was slavery expansion rather than abolition. 

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A culmination of differences led to the conflict that caused the Civil War. However, slavery was the most basic of all the sectional differences. For example, the North had an expanding industrial economy which was at the expense of the South that concentrated more on Agriculture. The profitability of cotton solidified the Southern section’s dependence on the slave labor, but the Republicans opposed slavery. The Southerners also felt that they were being inconvenienced by the protectionist tariffs. A lead up to the secession of the South from the Union in 1861 was fuelling the inevitable conflict. Even before President Lincoln took office, several states had seceded to establish the Southern power. The sectional conflict was becoming more probable with the secession because the Southerners acquired the freedom to pass many bills that were contentious. All this happened as the Northerners held their bargain of the Constitution and were, therefore, not able to confront slavery issues in the Southern States. The Civil War was by then waiting for a fuelling factor to explode, and it found the right one when the Southern government opened fire upon Fort Sumter in South Carolina. 

Thomas Jefferson in his first term as president signaled that his leadership was founded on Republican administration. He had always expressed his concerns over the loose construction of powers bestowed upon the national government in the Constitution. Since the Constitution was silent on the direction to be taken on land acquisition from other countries, he sought the people’s support to amend the Constitution in a manner that would approve the case. However, the Congress did not approve his draft amendment. Article IV of the Constitution approved that new states could be acquired, but was silent on foreign territories. Jefferson stated that an amendment was needed. The Louisiana Purchase Treaty betrayed his hard stance of a “strict constructionist” of the rule of law and the Constitution. He drafted an amendment that would facilitate the Louisiana Purchase, which the Senate ratified in 1803. Through James Monroe and Robert Livingston, Jefferson brokered a deal to negotiate a purchase treaty that doubled the size of the U.S.

His second stint at compromising the Constitution occurred when he went into an electoral deadlock with Aaron Burr. The Republicans were adamant that people intended to make Jefferson their president while the Federalists argued out that the Constitution had no provision to gauge the electorate’s intent. The Constitution had no provision to support the Republican claim that the electorate wanted Jefferson as their president than they did for Burr. It, therefore, had to be modified to accommodate his victory. These compromises were important in the history of the U.S. Accordingly, the deadlock between Burr and Jefferson created room for a party system and transformed the partisan issue of the place of the presidency in the political systems. 

The American Revolution acted as a precedent of various triumphs over the British Constitutional Monarchy. The U.S. War of Independence was fuelled by the conflict that arose between the residents of Great Britain’s colonies and the colonial administration. The attempt by the British government to increase revenue on their colonies sparked protests among the colonists who now felt that they were not represented in Parliament. Therefore, between 1763 and 1776, the colonists used their grievances such as unfair taxation and religious issues, to demand independence. Articles of the Confederation and Constitution were used to push the debate of parliamentary sovereignty. With the Constitution, the colonists gathered arguments that sparked debates of whether Great Britain had the right to extend its powers over the colonies. The colonists had moved in the direction of not acknowledging the right of parliament as absolute as the British liked to assert. By 1774, the majority of Americans had intensified their stance that Parliament had no authority by either consent or right. The Articles of Confederation were used to link the states to offer a common front to demand independence. The colonists needed the Articles of Confederation to influence the Constitutional amendments. They also offered a stepping-stone for the colonists to develop the Constitution that outlined the different powers of the government. 

The colonists did not necessarily dislike the British, but they viewed the monarchy as problematic. Thomas Paine asserts that the power of kings is unfounded, and that hereditary succession comes with other evils. Paine reveals that hereditary succession had been the cause of civil wars and rebellions in the history of Great Britain. The Common Sense advocates for the independence of the colonies from Britain. The complaints all relate to the conflict that led to the American Revolution. The misrepresentation in parliament was an active factor to support their case. 

The rise of the American colonies was influenced by different factors and interests. New England was attractive due to its access to slaves who were considered profitable commodities. The Middle Colonies were more varied in terms of their agricultural skills. They had a huge influence on economic and social factors even long after their integration with the British system of colonialism. For example, the New Netherland acted as a source of the American architecture. They gave the cities a commercial atmosphere due to the large number of merchants coming from the region. The Southern Colonies were skillful in agriculture and offered a constant source of food supply. As the different states continued to accommodate different identities, the Constitution had to reflect their existence. In the case of the American Constitution, the American identity is established. It is a product of the 18th century reflecting both the ideas of that time and the political forces that presided over its birth. The state identities were very important in shaping the bill of rights in a way that expresses their common identity. By interpretations, rights safeguarded against violations were also established to be protected against federal violations.

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