The Real Cause of the Civil War

The American Civil War has origins further back than most people realize. Politicians in the North and South were divided on the issue of slavery as early as 1820 — the year of the Missouri Compromise. The compromise allowed slavery in the newest state in the Union, Missouri, but banned it within the remainder of the Louisiana territory.

However, thirty-four years later, the Missouri Compromise was overturned by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 — which allowed the two new, independent territories (Kansas and Nebraska) to decide for themselves whether or not to allow slavery. The North, foreseeing a possible future of nationwide legal slavery, indignantly fought the measure, but it was ultimately signed into law by President Franklin Pierce.

The result was a bitter divide between politicians of the North and South, and a significant shift in the political weather of the United States.

Learn more about the origins of the Civil War and the birth of the Republican party in the video below.

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