Primary the southern boundary of Missouri and

Primary Source Analysis: What Caused Secession?    The justifications for the secession of southern states in the 1860s presents a debatable issue, even over 150 years later. However, the specific elements of national elections, sectionalism and slavery can’t be ignored as contributing factors to the defection by southern states. The Civil War resulted in the destruction of property, the deaths of over 600,000 people and a great division in our country, despite numerous attempts at compromise to hold the North and South together.    The Missouri Compromise of 1820 was one of the first undertakings to ease the tension between the North and South. This compromise stated that free and slave states would remain balanced with the admission of Missouri and Maine, and slavery would be prohibited north of the southern boundary of Missouri and permitted south of that line. Unfortunately, the compromise proved to only be a temporary solution and the Compromise of 1850 followed. This compromise came about after the Mexican American War. The Fugitive Slave Act was included in this compromise, which gave a lot of power to slave owners to capture escaped slaves. This power caused a great deal of hostility between North and South. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 was originally set up to open land for farms and railroads, but it eventually became a breeding ground for anti and pro slavery protests. These failed attempts at compromise caused tension to continue to build between the northern and southern secession became rampant.    Uncompromising difference over slavery was a contributing factor in southern secession. Even the political platforms during the 1860 presidential campaigns show the evidence of clear division of ideological beliefs. The Republican party platforms stated, ” … we deny the authority of Congress of a territorial legislature, or of any individuals, to give legal existence to slavery in any territory of the United States.” While the Southern Democratic Party platform said, ” … all citizens of the United States have an equal right to settle with their property in the Territory, without their rights, either of person or property, being … impaired …” The Southern Democrats and Northern Republic Parties were totally at odds over the issue of slavery, and neither side seemed willing to compromise. Northern and Southern states not only had different political values, but also had different customs and social structure. These differences were also a factor in Southern secession. Mississippi politician, Albert Gallatin Brown was a leading advocate for secession. He explained the feelings of his southern constituents in a 1860 speech when he stated, “The Northerners hate us now, and they teach their children in their schools and churches to hate our children … Better leave the Union in the open face of day, than be lighted from it at midnight by the (arsonist’s) torch.” This statement explained why Southerners supported secession, and felt it was better to succeed than to be attached. The final catalyst for secession was the election of Abraham Lincoln. The southern states felt that Lincoln’s stand on slavery was a stand against the South. A little over a month a South Carolina State Legislature approved and ordinance of secession for South Carolina. The ordinance stated, “all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States whose opinions and purposes are hostile to Slavery.” A letter from Jefferson Davis to George Runt in 1861, bolstered the idea that while the election was not the cause of secession, it was a factor. Davis commented, “The Election was not the Cause (of secession) it was the last feather which you know breaks the Camel’s back.” Lincoln clearly was not the candidate of choice for southern states, he was not even on the ballot in ten southern states. Most of Lincoln’s support was in Northern states and only received 1,865,600 popular votes.    Perhaps the fault for the secession lies at the feat of political parties. An excerpt from an editorial in the Pittsburgh Press from 1860 stated, “These Republicans claim the right to make a code of laws for the South.” Politicians put their own personal agendas ahead of the citizens of our nation. They failed to recognize the cultural, economic and political differences in the north and south. If these differences had been given serious consideration, and personal ambitions and agendas had been abandoned these might have seen a different solution, other than war.    The reason for the secession of southern states are numerous. It is clear that the institution of slavery, sectionalism, and politics were major elements in secession. However, the burden of fault must be given to the compromising decision of politicians that led our country into the deadliest American war in history. Works CitedAvalon Project – Confederate States of America – Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union, avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_scarsec.asp.Digital History, www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=3&psid=3951.”Document-Based Assessment Activities for U.S. History Classes.” Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=rA0l-GFqaoQC&pg=PA45&lpg=PA45&dq=The+Northerners+hate+us+now,+and+they+teach+their+children+in+their+schools+and+churches+to+hate+our+children+…+Better+leave+the+Union+in+the+open+face+of+day,+than+be+lighted+from+it+at+midnight+by+the+(arsonist’s)+torch&source=bl&ots=l3X5BsNS6d&sig=6X7lH4lU77fs-i8zbqlxSJQSmwo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjUpLS4_trYAhWM2lMKHZGBC5QQ6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=The Northerners hate us now, and they teach their children in their schools and churches to hate our children … Better leave the Union in the open face of day, than be lighted from it at midnight by the (arsonist’s) torch&f=false.”Document-Based Assessment Activities for U.S. History Classes.” Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=rA0l-GFqaoQC&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=The+Election+was+not+the+Cause+(of+secession)+it+was+the+last+feather+which+you+know+breaks+the+Camel’s+back&source=bl&ots=l3X5BsOPaf&sig=7_UjxM5nOn3pawuBeJm4hcVYF_g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwigqfOZgdvYAhXKulMKHS6dA4MQ6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=The Election was not the Cause (of secession) it was the last feather which you know breaks the Camel’s back&f=false.”Document-Based Assessment Activities for U.S. History Classes.” Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=rA0l-GFqaoQC&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=The+Election+was+not+the+Cause+(of+secession)+it+was+the+last+feather+which+you+know+breaks+the+Camel’s+back&source=bl&ots=l3X5BsOPaf&sig=7_UjxM5nOn3pawuBeJm4hcVYF_g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwigqfOZgdvYAhXKulMKHS6dA4MQ6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=The Election was not the Cause (of secession) it was the last feather which you know breaks the Camel’s back&f=false.”Document-Based Assessment Activities for U.S. History Classes.” Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=rA0l-GFqaoQC&pg=PA45&lpg=PA45&dq=These+Republicans+claim+the+right+to+make+a+code+of+laws+for+the+South&source=bl&ots=l3X5BsOTbc&sig=bCGF5jzqLX-J7TGXin5RPd7h1FQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiN9uvbgtvYAhXJuFMKHdmsAEoQ6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=These Republicans claim the right to make a code of laws for the South&f=false.”Results.” The Election of 1860, electionof1860.leadr.msu.edu/results/.