Many call it the War Between the States, and while it is known more commonly as the Civil War, there was nothing civil about it.It tore a nation apart, and forever changed the course of the United States.It wrecked countless homes, and only slightly fewer lives were lost in this war than in World War I and II, the Korean Conflict, and Vietnam combined (Leidner).This war devastated the South, and forever changed it.
While the popularly held belief is that this war was fought over slavery, many who joined the ranks of the Union or the Confederacy would have disagreed with this statement (Leidner).However, in his book, Sydney Ahlstrome voices the opinion of many when he says "Had there been no slavery, there would have been no war" (649). Today we see slavery as a moral issue, one that is socially unacceptable in our culture.
But in the early nineteenth century, slavery was an economic issuefirst, then a moral issue.The Southern political leaders recognized that without slavery the South's economy, which was based on agriculture, would collapse.They knew that there was no way that the big plantation owners could survive if they were forced to pay slaves the same wages they paid the white laborers.
Hence, any political action that threatened the institution of slavery captured the "undivided attention of the South's political leaders, many of whom were slave owners themselves" (Leidner).The Northern leaders were much more divided on the issue of slavery.While some wanted it abolished, some were indifferent, and a few supported it. The Civil War was not a quickly developed war, but rather there were many differences between the North and South that smoldered for many years before erupting into a conflict. One was found in the economy.
The North, having the majority of the factories in the U.S., supported a higher tariff that would encourage Americans to buy its products as o.