The Coming of the Civil War
In most opinions the Civil War was a tragic, unavoidable event in American history. I would agree with this statement, and the reasons for the conflict are as numerous as the battles in said war. The most important factor that caused this problem, as with most problems in the world boil down to one thing: money. The economics of the South demanded the use of slaves; they simply did not see any other options. American Nation could not overstate the importance of slavery on the South. Many staggering facts about the slave trade in the 1950’s showed that without a dramatic change in the way they lived, there was no way for the South to change their ways.
In the 1850’s the price of slaves rose to nearly $1800 for a prime field hand, that is roughly three times the price in the 1820’s. The South had gotten itself into a complete dependency on them, and it was a big business. In the same period there were 50 slave dealers in Charleston and 200 in New Orleans. If history has taught us anything, it is that when you mess with someone’s livelihood, you will have problems. If one could take the horrors and preconceptions that you have about slavery out of the picture, a very simple picture would be painted. The South got itself into a situation where its overhead was so great it had no choice but to continue business the way it was going, the money was simply too good. With plantations growing nothing but cotton, they were completely unable to stop; their society would collapse before they would be able to rebuild it in another way.
The South was no different than many big businesses that you see today. They continue down a path that they know is flawed, but continue to fight for it, if only to further their way of life for another day. They painted themselves into a corner that they could not see a way out of. It is my opinion that many slave owners, much like Thomas Jefferson, hated themselves for doing so. Many would...