Cause: Regional tensions had long existed between the northern and southern states due to the diverse economic interests of the individual areas. While the north was primarily a manufacturing and shipping environment, the south was primarily an agrarian society. One desiring tariffs and economic protection with the other desiring the opposite due to the heavy export of cotton. From these tensions the issue of states’ rights emerged. Further embedded in the cultural differences was the issue of slavery, fairly foreign to the north but nearly universal in the south. By the end of the 1850’s the country was ready for war. Prior to actual hostilities two events fueled the fire… first The John Brown Raid against the Federal Arsenal at Harpers Ferry and second the election of Abraham Lincoln. The war commenced shortly after southern forces fired at Fort Sumter off Charleston, South Carolina, April 12, 1861.
The Conclusion: Following the war a number of things changed. States rights disappeared in the face of centralized federal power. The institution of slavery ended within The United States and the agrarian south became a civilization “Gone With The Wind” Technology became a key element of the modern war.