Causes of the War...
The Civil War was far too large to blame on a few simple factors. Leading to the causes of the war were a number of factors, one of the largest being slavery. Yet slavery cannot be blamed for it either. States Rights were the direct cause of the war, the secession of states, and the direct start of gunfire at Fort Sumter.
At the beginning of 1860, over four million men, women, and children, one out of every seven people in the United States were slaves. The slaves of the southern plantations were frequently abused and overworked for the benefit of the plantation owner. Slaves remained in demand due to the increased productivity introduced by the cotton gin. Due to this increased demand, the number of slaves dramatically increased. Although the number of slaves in the south greatly outnumbered that of slave owners, the imbalance was maintained by harsh working conditions, and poverty stricken living environments. Slaves were frequently beaten, and neglected, often infected and died of dysentery, worms, and other diseases spurred by unsanitary living conditions. In certain circumstances, slaves were treated with occasional dignity by their owners, but for the most part they were neglected and treated with severe harshness.
³Those who deny freedom of others do not deserve it not for themselves, and under a just god cannot long retain it,² Abraham Lincoln.
The south feared that the north would abolish slavery, and the north was afraid it would spread westward into the newly established states. Soon, anti-slavery leaders were becoming active and loud. John Brown, with his militaristic abolitionist views started a small revolt in Harpers Ferry, where he was soon tried and hanged for treason. Although a failure throughout life, his success was in his dying cause that sparked new disturbance, and violence over slavery. Others with Brown's cause took up the torch, and lit the fire for a country split.
During the mid eighteen hundreds, the United States government took up an aggressive plan to industrialize the nation, and created numerous government sponsored programs. Although good in intentions, this gave rise to a number of new problems in the government. These programs frequently infringed upon the rights of the State in which the conducted. Thus this new industrialization was quickly rejected by those unfavorable to the new federalization. Understandably, this program can be interpreted as an unmistakably terrible program. If given unchecked expansion, this could lead to an all powerful dictatorship, limiting any democratic intervention at all.
Thus, the country was split over a number of reasons, but most of all slavery and state's rights, and thus a country was split, and a war for the Union began.