- from Civil War
Did you ever have a difference of opinion with someone that you just could not resolve? The kind of argument where both of you were equally sure you were right?
In the early years of the United States, the Northern states and the Southern states had such a difference of opinion. The conflict was over slavery.
By 1775, three-fourths of all enslaved Africans in the colonies lived in the South. Wealthy plantation owners believed they couldn’t survive without the free labor of slaves to work their fields. Some Northerners thought slavery was wrong. Afraid that Congress, where the North had a majority, would outlaw slavery, many Southerners upheld the principle of states’ rights—the idea that the states should have more power than the national government.
The election of Abraham Lincoln as president brought the conflict to a head. Lincoln represented the Republican Party, which had formed in 1854 to stop the expansion of slavery. Southern plantation owners were sure that Lincoln would destroy their way of life. Between Lincoln’s election in November 1860 and his inauguration in March 1861, seven states seceded from the Union. Lincoln was determined to preserve the Union. War was unavoidable.