Slavery as a Central Issue of the Civil War

During the 18-19th centuries, slaves worked mainly on various plantations on the Southern coast of the United States. Therefore, this period is characterized by the growing separation tendencies and the polarization of the state between the abolitionists and proponents of slavery. The complex romantic ideas prevailed in the minds of the citizens before the Civil War. An ideal social order for southerners accepts a free nation based on the conquest of the dependent labor force. After the proclamation of independence, the gradual liberation of African Americans from slavery began in the North. Although the American Constitution enshrined the existence of slavery in the United States, the young nation’s people differently related to the existence of millions of slaves. Over time, abolitionism emerged; it was a movement for the freedom of black slaves. Slavery was likewise a focal issue of the Civil War and disregard of this matter was loaded with the extreme results. The armed conflict started in 1861 because of the rise of disagreements between slave proprietors and the bourgeoisie, from the one side, as well as slave owners and planters on the other.

In any case, the US entrepreneurial relations developed unevenly. While in the Northern states, the middle class arranged and cultivated agribusiness thus developing entrepreneurial mechanical sluggishness, the Southern states were overwhelmed by the slavery framework. The 19th century marked the abolishment of slavery in the Northern part of the country, and the South where there were 4 million slaves did the same in 1860 . The principle snag on the way of economic advancement all through the nation was slavery.

Subjugation had never been broad in the North, although many wealthy businesspersons in the region dealt with the slave trade and invested in the Southern plantations. During the first half of the 19th-century, the scope of human trafficking increased thrice as much, and the total number of slaves reached 4 million. Half of them worked on the cotton plantations in the South. Slave proprietors aimed at making slaves subject to them, and managed their lives to the utmost. Moreover, slaves were forbidden to study, to read or write, their behavior and movements were limited . The planters of the South who employed extensive farming methods were constantly in need of new lands and tried to seize the fertile soils in the West. However, this land was also in demand for the North American bourgeoisie, farmers, and settlers. The enhanced development of the domain of the ranch economy guaranteed the protection of servitude. Rural items and crude materials were customarily sent to the European nations and from that point, the US imported industrial products. Consequently, the North American producers were deprived of the source of raw materials and the market for manufactured goods. Therefore, these variables prompted irregularities between the industrial North and the slaveholding South. Due to the weakness of the industrial and commercial bourgeoisie of the North, political power belonged to the planters, who have advanced their henchmen to the post of the President. Additionally, the desire to maintain low tariffs on the industrial products imported from Europe forced some farmers to give their votes to the candidates who were southerners.

The planters of the South used broad cultivating techniques, were always in need of new lands and attempted to grab the ripe grounds in the West. In any case, these territories were in demand for the North American bourgeoisie, ranchers, and pioneers. The development of the space of the farm economy ensured the insurance of bondage. Rustic things and rough materials were generally conveyed in the European countries and the US started importing the industrial products. Thus, the North American manufacturers were denied a wellspring of crude materials and a business opportunity for the fabricated merchandise. Hence, these factors incited differences between the industrial North and the slaveholding South. Because of the shortcoming of the mechanical and business bourgeoisie of the North, political power had a place with the grower, who advanced his partners to the post of the President. Additionally, the craving to keep low taxes on the imported industrial goods from Europe constrained a few ranchers to give their votes to the southerners.

However, more and more people resisted slavery in the 1850s. The struggle against slavery was activated. The requirement for the annulment of subjection appeared to be noticeably inescapable. Amid the equipped battle against subordination in Kansas the republican gathering occurred, which aimed at joining the bourgeoisie and ranchers – the adversaries of bondage. The purpose of the war between the North and the South was the race in 1860 for the post of the US President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) , a standout personality amongst the most gifted pioneers of the Republican Party and the side-scratch invalidation of subordination. Nevertheless, during his anti-slavery movement, Lincoln had opponents not only among the southerners. Steven Douglas, a representative of the Democratic Party often debated with the President. Douglas did not leave aside the republican proclamation about the balance of the blacks and the whites. He called it a huge sin. Playing on the supremacist demeanors of audience members, he said that the creators of the Declaration of Independence did not mean Negroes or any other inferior and underdeveloped race when they talked about the equality. Frightening people with the consequences of equation in the rights of the blacks and whites, Douglas called for voting in favor of Lincoln on the off chance that they needed a large number of freed slaves from Missouri to settle in Illinois and become the citizens and voters on a par with others .

An important shattering blow to slavery was inflicted in 1857 by Hinton Rowan Helper with his book The Impending Crisis. Helper showed that the North had incomparably more industrial enterprises and capital, a larger amount of values ??invested in agriculture, and better developed railway network. He defended interests of the South in general, which opposed the narrow class interests of planters. The slave system was beneficial only for a few large planters. As for the mass of “white poor people,” the main characteristic features of those white southerners who do not own slaves are poverty, ignorance, and superstition. Helper offered to abolish slavery gradually. In the end, the slaveholders were to receive compensation in the form of the growth of the chain of land property, which, as he predicted, would pursue the termination of subjugation.

At their congress, planters decoded to join the State of the Union and started planning the war. In 1861, these sates made the Confederacy, which troops mutinied and seized strongholds and arms stockpiles in the South in April . The war saw a middle class equitable upset and the second unrest in the United States. Slaveholding planters battled to safeguard servitude as a social framework, stretching it out to the whole nation. The primary goal of the main period of the war for the included trusted rebuilding of the considerable number of conditions of the Union and maintaining the spread of subjugation into new areas. The triumph of the North in the Civil War guaranteed disposal of financial and political discontinuity of the country, nullification of bondage, law based determination of the agrarian question in the West, the improvement of agribusiness in the United States, the bond with the national market and the development of popularity-based privileges for citizens.

In 1858, William Seward made a speech about the “irrepressible conflict”, which became the most famous one in the pre-war history of the country. In this speech, he condemned the “special institution of the South”. The slave system embraced constant danger, distrust, suspicion and alertness. It suppressed those whose labor could produce wealth and resources for defense to the lowest possible level that the human nature allowed. The slaveholders had to prevent the possibility of a mutiny or insurrection, and thus wasted energy that could be channeled to the development and greatness of the nation. The state was a theater in which two absolutely different political systems were represented. One rested on the foundation of slave labor, the other based on the voluntary labor of free people. The collision of these systems seemed unavoidable. Therefore, this was an inevitable conflict between opposing and eternal forces, and it meant that eventually the US would become either completely slave-owning or free nation.

Slavery is a very bad thing. If one becomes subjugated, then it will be difficult for him/her to remove this burden. Of course, it is for the lifetime. Slaves have to work like that permanently; however, only sometimes they are given food and water. Therefore, it implies no entertainment, no extra rest, no romance, and no personal life. It seems that the meaning of life is lost. People toil hard, and they will not be thanked for their personal time. The worst issue about slavery is that innocent children automatically became subordinates, and they have no choice. Moreover, most importantly, slaves were never treated like individuals; they were oppressed, beaten, killed, and sold. Consequently, slavery can be considered a shameful period in the history of humankind.

Supporters of slavery had always shown that the blacks could not conduct themselves properly, as well as insisted that slavery disciplined and taught the culture. However, on the contrary, abolitionists argued that repressive actions against African Americans lead to mass uprisings. The revolt of slaves influenced strengthening of the abolitionist position in the American society. Technical improvements in addition to the religious and social movements of the interwar period strongly influenced the direction of American history including the expansion of the West to the Pacific Ocean, the tendency of the population to move from farms to industrial centers, the division into sections, the abolition of slavery and the growth of feminist movements and campaigns for sober lifestyle.


Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty!: An American History (4th ed.). New York: W. W. Norton & Co, 2014.

Helper, Hinton. “The Impending Crisis.” In Voices of Freedom: A Documentary History. Volume 1257-261. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2014.

Seward, William. “The Irrepressible Conflict.” In Voices of Freedom: A Documentary History. Volume 1, 254-257. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2014.

“The Lincoln-Douglas Debates.” In Voices of Freedom: A Documentary History. Volume 1, 261-265. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2014.

? Eric Foner. Give Me Liberty!: An American History (4th ed.) (New York: W. W. Norton & Co,. 2014), 312.


? Foner, Give Me Liberty, 321.

? Foner, Give Me Liberty!, 398.

? “The Lincoln-Douglas Debates,” in Voices of Freedom: A Documentary History. Volume 1 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2014), 262.

? Hinton Helper, “The Impending Crisis,” in Voices of Freedom: A Documentary History. Volume 1 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2014), 259.

? Foner, Give Me Liberty!, 398.


? William Seward, “The Irrepressible Conflict,” in Voices of Freedom: A Documentary History. Volume 1 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2014), 260.