The Civil War was caused by a myriad of conflicting pressures, principles, and prejudices, fueled by sectional differences and pride, and set into motion by a most unlikely set of political events. From the colonial period in America where the institution of slavery began, through the period of the revolution whereby blood was shed to validate the notion that all men were created equal (yet slavery existed in all thirteen colonies), to the era of the Civil War itself, it is undoubtedly clear that the main causative factor of the war was slavery itself. With that said, it is the objective of this brief essay to shed light on three of the causative factors that led to the Civil War while subsequently considering the question of whether or not the conflict solved any of the issues that contributed to the war. As mentioned above, first and foremost the war was about the issue and institution of slavery. The southern states depended on slave labor to support and sustain their vast economy. Without slave labor (as immigrants from other countries simply did not migrate to the southern states as such was the case with the industrialized north) the southern economy was essentially lost. The southern plantation owners used slaves to produce crops such as cotton. Cotton became not only the largest source of trade and income for the southern states, but accounted for approximately half of the export industry within the United States as a whole. This fact serves to illustrate the obvious reliance and importance of slave labor for the southern plantation owners. It is important to note however, that although slavery within the northern states was declared illegal, there were in reality, few who opposed it. Although some northerners (as well as a portion of southerners) were genuinely against the institution of slavery believing that it was morally wrong to withhold human beings as slaves and declare then not has men but property, the main debate with respect to slavery was not its existence but rather its expansion. Primarily, the north was concerned that the newly acquired western states of California, Arizona, and New Mexico from the Mexican War (mid 1800’s), would become slave states and in turn would make it both politically and economically harder to contend with. Economically speaking, the northerners didn’t favor the idea of further competition against slave labor, while politically speaking, the north was also concerned with the idea of an unbalanced legislature whereby the south would be the majority represented by slave-owning states. Therefore, as we come to a second cause of the Civil War, it is evidently clear that the socio-economic cause about to be discussed is directly related and consumed by enveloping factor of slavery. By the brink of the war (1860), the north and the south had become two disparate regions. The differences in political, social and economic views amongst the two regions continued to grow from the colonial period until the outbreak of the war (which served as a culminating expression of the supreme tension between the two areas). Despite the fact that each region attempted to impose their points of view on the other, compromise could only keep the country at bay for so long. Perhaps another cause of the war (as perhaps most widely viewed by the southerners) was the election of Abraham Lincoln as President. The election of Lincoln (as he was regarded by the southerners as an abolitionist yet from the beginning of his term as president he established himself as a man not concerned with the abolition of slavery but simply an advocate of minimizing it) instilled fear in the minds of most southerners who owned slaves because they viewed him as a threat to what they perceived to be the foundation of their livelihood and existence. As mentioned previously, the south relied on slavery to work their vast cotton fields which produced an extremely large amount of revenue for the south. As cotton was quickly established as the south’s largest and most profitable cash crop (marked by the tag of “king cotton”), this in turn established their reliance on the plantation system as the greatest source for profit and economic sustainability. As a result of the strong foothold of the plantation system within the south, this inevitably accounted for the continued reliance on slaves for the only source of large-scale labor in the south. The north on the other hand during this time (1850’s- 60’s) had become an established industrialized society. Unlike the south who relied on slaves for their major source of labor, the industrialized north relied on European immigrants to aid in the construction of buildings, roads, and railway systems. As such, these immigrants provided the north with an abundant source of large-scale labor while they worked the factories and shipyards of the Northeast, and settled the lands of the North West. The south resisted industrialization, a fundamental difference between the two regions. Instead rather they continued to emphasize the usage and importance of slave labor and cotton production for their states and the United States at large. As they were not industrialized, the southern states manufactured little and in urn imported virtually all manufactured goods. Due to the fact that importation was a necessity for the south, they inevitably opposed high tariffs. Yet, the north, who relied heavily upon the exportation of manufactured goods and raw materials demanded high tariffs as a source of protection against foreign competition. As such, the issue of tariffs as well as the overall differences in economic and political agendas between the two regions sharpened during this period. Nevertheless, it is important to note that subsequent to the onslaught of the war, the United States was essentially reliant upon tariffs for virtually all internal improvements. Improvements such as the building of roads and other transportation systems was all made possible by the placing and collection of tariffs on manufactured goods. The south, not wanting to meet the demands of such costs, chose to do without such improvements. This fact ultimately accounts for the differences between the north and south’s overall demographics as pertaining to transportation systems and overall industrialization level. The Northwest Territories, as a result of this tariff issue became, during this era, an area of much contention. This area was significant in that it ultimately allied itself with the north simply out of economic necessity. As a result of being in the west, these areas required the transportation systems and internal improvements that the north advocated. Consequently, despite the fact that both the south and west were agricultural regions, the west, as mentioned above out of economic necessity and survival, allied themselves with the North. As such, this situation only furthered the already high-tensioned situation between the two regions. Also, while the north and south were dissimilar with respect to their economic and social views, they too were different in their basic political perspectives. As the north advocated a strong centralized government to thereby make national law, regulate national currency, and build national infrastructure, the south was generally focused on the preservation of states rights and advocated the mineralization of power of the centralized government. Moreover, the more loyal southerners and promoters of states rights felt threatened by a strong central government and feared that it would interfere with slavery. With that said, it is without a doubt that slavery was indeed at the heart of the causes of the Civil War. Indeed there are other implications to be taken into account as well, but invariably they all lead back to the institution of slavery. This brief essay highlights such causative factors as slavery, the implementation of tariffs, the election of Lincoln as president, and finally states rights. To answer the remainder of the question posed at the start of this essay, in my opinion much of these issues, at least fragments of them, still exist within our country today. Although Lincoln was successful in the abolishment of slavery, slaves still existed. Although the union was ultimately preserved with General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, there still exist an element of tension between the south (confederates) and the north (yankees). Despite the fact that slavery was no longer held legally viable in the south, the region was still not an area characterized by industrialization and manufactured goods such as the north was subsequent to the war. In any case, the Civil War, although occurring some 143 years ago, has instilled in the American people not only a sense of history, but also a sense of identity. For instance, proud southerners in areas such as Texas can be seen sporting new pick-up trucks with the confederate flag tacked to the inside of the vehicle’s back window. Displays such as this truly mark the undeniable reality that much of what the Civil War was fought over, and much of the mind-set behind it still exists even today. With that said, I do believe the Civil War was a necessity, because even the greatest of compromisers must cast away words and diplomacy for the shedding of blood from time to time. For Americans, the Civil War was that time.