Could The American Civil War Have Been Avoided?.
After the Constitution was adopted by all of the States in 1789, uniting the States into one nation, differences between the States had been worked out through compromises. By 1861 these differences between the Northern States (which included the Mid-Western and Western States) and the Southern States had become so great that compromise would no longer work. Thus, a conflict started within our nation that was called the Civil War. This Civil War was certainly precipitated by the ardent demands of many Northerners for the immediate abolition of slavery. But an examination of the events leading directly to war will show that Southern politicians also must share much of the blame for the conflict. Never the less the conflict in and of itself was one which was, more likely than not, unavoidable. The Civil War became an inevitable chapter in our American history, and apart of our American heritage.
For more than 30 years arguments between the North and South had been growing. One of these quarrels was about taxes paid on goods brought into this country from foreign countries. This kind of tax is called a tariff. In 1828 Northern businessmen helped get the "Tariff Act" passed. It raised the prices of manufactured products from Europe which were sold mainly in the South. The purpose of the law was to encourage the South to buy the North's products. It angered the Southern people to have to pay more for the goods they wanted from Europe or pay more to get goods from the North. Either way the Southern people were forced to pay more because of the efforts of Northern businessmen. Though most of tariff laws had been changed by the time of the Civil War, the Southern people still remembered how they were treated by the Northern people. .
In the years before the Civil War the political power in the Federal Government, centered in Washington D.C., was changing.