What are four main events leading to the Civil War?  List them and explain their importance.

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many important events that led up to the Civil War.  Let us look at four of them.

  1. Mexican-American War. This war added a great deal of territory to the United States.  The slave states and free states then came into conflict over this territory, with each side wanting it for themselves.  This conflict helped drive the two regions apart and bring about the Civil War.
  2. Kansas-Nebraska Act.  This law overruled the Missouri Compromise, opening up the possibility of slavery in areas north of the line drawn in that compromise.  This brought about the violence in “Bleeding Kansas” and made for more conflict between the North and South.
  3. Dred Scott Decision.  This barred Congress from making any laws about slavery in the territories, which prevented any further compromises on the issue of slavery.
  4. Election of Abraham Lincoln.  Lincoln was elected with no votes from the South.  This proved to the Southerners that they had no power in the country anymore and led them to secede.


All of these events helped create conflict between the North and the South.  This conflict made war more likely.