Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: civil war ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: civil war
Category: Reference, Education and News > Teaching and Research
Asked by: sully2005-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 03 Oct 2004 12:14 PDT
Expires: 02 Nov 2004 11:14 PST
Question ID: 409722
Was secession the only choice for the slave states in 1860 after the
election of Lincoln?

Request for Question Clarification by scriptor-ga on 03 Oct 2004 12:16 PDT
Do you want a Researcher's personal opinion on this issue?


Clarification of Question by sully2005-ga on 03 Oct 2004 13:30 PDT
yes i want a researcher's personal opinion
Subject: Re: civil war
Answered By: kriswrite-ga on 03 Oct 2004 15:23 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello sully~

When Lincoln was elected, the South felt they'd been pinned into a
corner. To their way of thinking, their rights were being trampled on,
and the only way they knew to re-assert those rights was to secede.
However, it wasn't merely Lincoln's election that caused the South to
secede; the roots of the problem went all the way back to the early
part of the 19th century.

When the Tariff of Abominations began (taxing imports from foreign
countries), this greatly hurt the South. Many Southern goods were sold
to and purchased from Europe, because it was a less expensive source.
Suddenly, the Southern way of live was threatened and the cost of
doing business livelihoods went up dramatically.

The import of new slaves was also made illegal. As "A Declaration of
the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the
State of Mississippi from the Federal Union" stated: ?Our...products
are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an
imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to
the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world,
and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.?
(American Civil War Portal: )
Over the years, it had also become more and more difficult to legally
chase after run-away slaves. Quite literally, the South believed that
limiting slavery severely damaged their ability to maintain the
economy and feed their families.

Lincoln?s election was the straw that broke the camel?s back. Knowing
Lincoln?s platform, the South felt their views no longer mattered to
the Federal government. Lincoln threatened slavery, which if ended,
Southerners felt, would put most of the South out of work.

The South now saw the Federal government as their enemy. They felt it
no longer protected their security, but threatened it. Southerners
felt the Federal government was intent on destroying the agricultural
South and it?s ability to life and liberty.

What was the South to do? Watch their lives go down the drain? Or was
their another choice? There was: to secede. The Constitution did not
prohibit this, and the Declaration of Independence clearly states:
?Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of those ends, it
is the right of the own people to alter or abolish it.? This is
exactly what the South felt they were doing. For them, the Federal
government had become an entity that hurt the people. It was their
right, then, to rid themselves of it.

For more on this subject, I recommend the following sources:

?Causes of the Civil War?

? Secession of the Southern States?

?The Tariff of Abominations?


Southern secession
Secession choice

Request for Answer Clarification by sully2005-ga on 03 Oct 2004 18:02 PDT
After the secession of the southern states, did the civil war have to
take place could it have been avoided.

Clarification of Answer by kriswrite-ga on 04 Oct 2004 05:29 PDT
Hi Sully~

Thanks for the new question. Unfortunately, because it is a new
question, it really needs to be posted as such.

Kind regards,
sully2005-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy