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 Posted: Sun Apr 1st, 2007 11:40 am
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Widow
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Joined: Tue Sep 19th, 2006
Location: Oakton, Fairfax County, VA
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TexasDef, here's another factor to consider:

   It is true that the institution of slavery was the catalytic element that led to the war. But it was only part of a larger disagreement, that of how much power the federal government should have over the states. As the southerners saw it, the system was no longer fair. Thus, they made the decision to withdraw from the connection to the federal government that they had voluntarily entered into. In fact, the conflict cannot even be classified as a true civil war, since the southerners were not trying to destroy or take over the US Government, only to leave it

Ever since the Revolution, the southern states had strong political power in Congress and the White House.  At that time, the Executive Branch was weak and the Legislative Branch was by far the strongest of the three.

With the population increasing faster in the North than in the South, it was obvious that eventually the southern states would be outnumbered in the House of Representatives and perhaps the Senate.  The Constitution specified that a slave counted as 3/5 of a free person in the decennial census.  Even with that, the increase in slaves was not as great as the immigrants in the north.

I believe that was why the slave states were so anxious to expand slavery into the territories, and to annex Mexico, Central America, Brazil, and Cuba.  Anything to keep their proportional representation equal with the rapidly increasing population in the northern states.

Again, just my belief here.  The northern states saw the expansion of slavery in both Nebraska and Kansas territories as a threat to their increasing political power.  Some in the North had strong opinions against slavery, and others were indifferent.  But nobody wanted to see the balance of power slip away because of the 3/5 rule.

Patty

PS I tried posting this a little while ago, and it didn't seem to work.  Sorry if it appears twice.

Last edited on Sun Apr 1st, 2007 12:16 pm by Widow

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