What factors led to the Civil War?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There were several factors that led to the Civil War. The South wanted slavery to spread while the North opposed this. There was fighting over the spread of slavery. When the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed, it allowed the people to decide if there would be slavery in these territories. There was fighting and killing in Kansas over the spread of slavery. When Lincoln got elected President, the South was convinced President Lincoln was going to end slavery. Even though President Lincoln said he wouldn’t end slavery, the South was convinced slavery would end. President Lincoln, however, didn’t want slavery to spread beyond where it already existed. Lincoln’s election pushed some southern states to secede.

Another factor leading to the Civil War was the North and the South were very different regions economically. The North was mainly industrial while the South was mainly agricultural. Thus, the regions had different views on economic issues. The North wanted protective tariffs. The South was against these tariffs. The North wanted internal improvements. The South opposed these projects if they raised taxes.

There were differences of opinion over the power of the federal government. The North wanted the federal government to have a lot of power. They believed federal laws were supreme. The South wanted the state governments to have more power. The South believed states could nullify federal laws. There were several factors that led to the start of the Civil War.

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