In conclusion, the Battle
of Fort Sumter in 1861 marked the beginning of one of the greatest and
bloodiest wars in American history that lasted for four long years. Although
the uncompromising differences between the free and slave states over the power
of the national government to prohibit slavery in the territories that had not
yet become states led to the beginning of the American Civil War, there were
other causes that contributed to the widening divide between the North and
South and the secession of the southern states from the Union. The principle of
states’ rights, the Southern states’ desire to preserve the institution of
slavery, the economic and social divergence amongst the North and the South, the
Abolitionist movement, and the election of Abraham Lincoln as President all
contributed to one of the most prominent events in American history. Moreover,
the American Civil War was an inevitable war that helped change and shape modern
American society forever.

There were several
historical events that occurred within the fifteen years leading up to the
American Civil War. The end of the Mexican-American War in 1848, the
publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1852, the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, the
Dred Scott Decision of 1857, and John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859
all contributed to the start of the American Civil War. However, it was the
Presidential election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 that led to the secession of
11 Southern states from the Union and the start of one of the most prominent
events in American history. This was when the American Civil War became
inevitable. The election of Republican Abraham Lincoln as the president caused
Southern states to secede from the Union as they feared that their state rights
to govern themselves would be taken away, slavery would be abolished, and their
economy would be destroyed. The North, led by President Lincoln perceived secession
as an illegal act.  Moreover, it was the
first exchange of fire by the Confederates at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861 that
ignited the beginning of the American Civil War and made it inevitable.

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The rebellion led by Nat
Turner planted fear throughout the Southern states and helped widen the growing
divide between the Northern and Southern states. Northerners began to question
the morality of slavery, whereas Southerners argued that slavery was not only
necessary, but a positive good as slavery represented a substantial portion of
their economic wealth. By the 1850s, the North and South both had development
ideological arguments based on their own economic, political and social
interests as with the morality of slavery.  Southern states believed that the expansion of
slave territories was an economic and political imperative for the slave system (Levine).  On the other hand, the North argued that
slavery was morally reprehensible and were dedicated to the immediate abolition
of slavery. In 1850, the Congress passed the Compromise of 1850 to settle the
slavery issues between the North and the South. Although the North gained
California as a free state, slavery was prohibited in Washington D.C. and the
compromise prevented further territorial expansion of slavery, the compromise strengthened
the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which was supported by the Southern States.
Moreover, the ideological argument concerning the expansion of slavery pertained
to the economic difference between the North who progressed through
industrialization and the South, who’s economy progressed through slavery.

 In 1820, Congress passed the Missouri
Compromise in an effort to preserve the balance of power in Congress between
slave and free states when the expansion of slavery into western territories
entered Congressional debates. However, this compromise provoked a national debate
pertaining to who had the power to allow or prohibit slavery in the territories
and the newly formed states. By the early 1830s, the abolitionist movement had become
increasingly prominent in the North. The goal of the abolitionist movement was
the immediate emancipation of all slaves and the end of racial discrimination
and segregation (History.com). In 1831, Nathanial “Nat”
Turner led one of the bloodiest and effective rebellion in American history.
This rebellion ignited a culture of fear in Virginia that eventually spread to
the rest of the South, and is said to have expedited the coming of the Civil
War (Greenberg). Moreover, this
rebellion helped establish several ideological arguments between the North and
the South concerning the expansion of slavery.

The relative role of
slavery and the issues of expansion and abolitionism played a significant role
in igniting the American Civil War. The North and the South were very different
in nature, in terms of economics and politics.  In the North, the economy had become more
modernized and diversified during the Industrial Revolution. Meanwhile, slavery
was interwoven into the economy in the Southern states. The South utilized
slavery to sustain its culture and grow cotton on plantations. Although slavery
existed in the North due to the American Revolution, Northern states had
gradually abolished slavery as it was deemed morally reprehensible. Furthermore,
the country was divided into states that permitted slavery and states that
prohibited slavery.

As a defining time in our
nation’s history, the American Civil War was one of the greatest wars in
history, starting in 1861 and lasting until 1865. Although the American Civil
War was the culmination of a series of confrontations concerning the
institution of slavery, the role of slavery was not the solitary or primary
cause of the war. In fact, the primary cause of the American Civil War is
perhaps the most contentious topic in American history. There were many
uncompromising and complex economic, political, and social differences between
the North and the South that helped create conflict between the two regions and
eventually erupted into a war. Although many historians may argue that the
moral issue of slavery led to the American Civil War, it is essential to
understand that the war was an inevitable conflict that was bound to occur due
to the differences between the North and South societies and politics.