To What Extent Was the Civil War Inevitable?
The first way I will show how the war could not be avoided will deal with the issue of slavery. Slavery should be the first mentioned because many conflicts within the United States leading up to the Civil War and the division of the United States dealt with slavery.
The North and the South did not develop along similar economically or ideologically. That created an inherent instability in America. At some stage the two opposing sections would inevitably come into military conflict once all compromises were exhausted.
Moreover, in his view, the spread of slavery had to be stopped. This is why he focuses on the Kansas-Nebraska Act according to the status of slavery could be determined with the help of popular vote (Lincoln, 1858). In his opinion, this decision was completely unacceptable. Overall, one can say that both politicians recognize the importance of slavery, and they have the opposite opinions on this issue. Moreover, they are unwilling to consider the interests of one another. Therefore, these dramatic differences in opinions indicate that the civil conflict in the United States could eventually break out. This is one of the arguments that can be made. Nevertheless, it is important to remember several details indicating that the conflict was not inevitable. In particular, one should mention that Southern state did not secede from the Union simultaneously. This process was led by South Caroline, but it was not immediately supported by the legislators in other states. For instance, one can mention Tennessee, which was the last to join the Confederacy. Moreover, West Virginia emerged as a state because local policy-makers did not want to secede from the Union. Furthermore, they abolished slavery before the end of the Civil War. Moreover, there were some slave states did not secede; for instance, one can mention Missouri and Delaware. Thus, one cannot say that the problem of slavery was irreconcilable. This is one of the exceptions that should be taken into account. Overall, the pattern of secession does not fully support Calhoun’s idea that all Southern states did want to be a part of the Union because the government wanted to restrict or abolish slavery. These are some of the issues that should be taken into account. Much attention should be paid to the willingness or unwillingness of the local elite to accept the policies of the federal government. In some cases, they did not want to secede from the United States only because of the conflict which emerged as a result of the slavery debate. Moreover, the support of cession was particularly strong in the states in which the economy was very dependent on slave labor (Heyrman, Lytle.& Stoff, 2010).
Calhoun, J. (1850). The Clay Compromise Measures. Web.
Heyrman, C., Lytle, M., & Stoff, M. (2010). U.S.: A Narrative History. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Lincoln, A. (1858). House Divided.Web.