Many Causes of the Civil War

Written by: Dr. Stacy
Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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During the 1860s, the North and South of the United States had many disputes and conflicts. The South succeeded from the North, eventually leading to the civil war. The Civil War was the most destructive war ever fought in the western hemisphere and lasted from 1861 to 1865. The Civil War led to the end of the Confederacy and helped America to grow economically and socially as a nation. Today, America faces an issue with immigrants and their policies on that topic. The country is torn between what is morally right and the law.

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Due to the Mexican Cession, the United States took possession of the former Mexican provinces of California and New Mexico, which altered the whole geography of North America. However, the legacy of working women changed the course of American history to a far greater degree. Because of the labor vacuum created by the war, women stepped in and went straight to work. Many families were left without dads or husbands, so the women had to take on their role as breadwinners.

There are many causes of the civil war, which changed American history to some degree. The Fugitive Slave Law allowed runaway slaves who escaped to a northern state to be tracked down and captured, then returned to the South. Southern slave owners were enraged because their slaves were running away, and northern abolitionists organized committees to protect them. It should get noted that the fugitive slave law was vile and is no longer legal today. Nobody today is going away to prison for life due to hiding a slave, mainly because slavery was declared illegal in 1865. The Underground Railroad was a network designed to help escaped slaves travel north. Slaves were running away to the North to be able to live as free people.

Southern slave owners were furious that their properties were running away. Even though the Underground Railroad successfully helped some 100,000 slaves escape to freedom, it is no longer used today. No free blacks were traveling back south to help other slaves escape. The Mexican Cession allowed the United States to take possession of the former Mexican provinces of California and New Mexico. The possession of these two new territories stirred up sectional debate over the extension of slavery. Fortunately, the Wilmot Proviso forbade slavery in any new territories.

The legacies of the civil war changed America’s history to a far greater degree. One legacy is the end of slavery. The Civil War started because of slavery. Abraham Lincoln pushed hard for the thirteenth amendment, and after his death, it was ratified (2). Because of the thirteenth amendment, slavery was abolished and, to this day, remains illegal. A social legacy of the Civil War would be working women. The Civil War created a labor vacuum women stepped into (3). There were many job opportunities due to the deaths of many people. Women were always at home, doing housework, but because of the civil war, they could work actual jobs. To this day, women have the same job opportunities as men.

It’s no longer just men going to work. Women can work to be bosses and CEOs. The Civil War led to many warfare advancements. Both the Confederacy and Union had ironclad warships, which went against each other. Neither the Union nor the Confederacy won the ship battle. The ironclad ships revolutionized naval warfare, and ironclad ships are still used to this day. An economic legacy of the Civil War is the devastation of the South. Most Civil War battles got fought in the South; therefore, most of the destruction was in the South. Many major cities in the South were in ruins, and their economy got destroyed. To this day, seven of the ten confederate states are the poorest in the United States.

Because of these concepts and many more, the legacies changed the course of American history to a far greater degree. The Civil War’s legacies dealt with ending slavery, working women, warfare, and the devastation of the South. These legacies are still relevant to this day. Women are working harder than ever, and many more warfare advancements have occurred—for example, nuclear and atomic bombs. In the American Revolution, America fought against Britain for their freedom to be their own independent country. During the Civil War, the Confederacy fought the Union for freedom from their rule and laws. These events show that the fight for freedom will never stop, as demonstrated a hundred years later in the civil rights movement. From 1954-1968, African Americans fought for their legal rights to have the same freedoms as white people (4). The Civil War left a devastated country, so reconstruction began in hopes of saving America.


  1. Beecher-Stowe H. Uncle Tom’s Cabin [Internet]. Google Books. Ingram, Cooke; 1852 [cited 2022 Oct 21]. Available from:
  2. Flows C. Lincoln’s Struggle with The Thirteenth Amendment [Internet]. Forbes. 2015. Available from:
  3. Bradshaw BS, Frisbie WP. Potential Labor Force Supply and Replacement in Mexico and the States of the Mexican Cession and Texas: 1980–2000. International Migration Review. 1983 Sep;17(3):394–409.
  4. LeMahieu M, Burton OV. “Civil War Memory in the Civil Rights Movement and Contemporary Culture.” American Studies. 2014;53(4):107–18.
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Many Causes Of The Civil War. (2019, Nov 10). Retrieved from