Causes Of The War Of The Rebellion. The Victories Won

Causes Of The War Of The Rebellion The Victories W 469


The Causes of the Rebellion.

LEAVING DESOLATION in its track, throughout many parts of the South, was a four-years' war, waged between the people of the

Northern and Southern portions of the United States, extending over a period of time from April 12,

1861, to the surrender of Lee,

April 9, 1865.

Among the causes that produced the war, briefly stated, were these: The staple productions in the South, prior to the war, were cotton and sugar. To sell these productions in the markets of the world at the highest figures, and purchase the necessaries of life at the lowest price, was regarded by the Southern people as legitimate. To have unrestricted commercial intercourse, therefore, with the people of all nations, being free to export their productions without hindrance, and import goods from abroad free of duty, was considered for the best interests of the South.

There existed a decided difference of opinion between the people of the Northern and Southern States on this subject. A large body of people at the North believed that home industries could best be built up through the shutting out of foreign production by a high protective tariff. This party favored the placing of a high tax on all goods from abroad.

Protective tariff against free trade, which became a sectional issue, was one of the causes. Another was the black man. For generations the colored people had been regarded by most persons at the South as property that could be rightfully bought and sold.

In many parts of the North, in the early history of the country, slavery was common. Washington was a prominent owner of slaves, as were many other great and good men; and the institution of slavery having for generations been protected by legislation, a vast body of people at the South regarded it as perfectly right to buy, sell, and own slaves.

Gradually a public sentiment grew up in the North antagonistic to the idea of one class owning another class. This feeling extended into the halls of national legislation, and in time developed very bitter sectional feeling.

The final result was that the Southerners, thinking of the triumph of the United States when they cut loose from England, and that the people of the South should have the right to make such laws as they deemed best for their own interests, inaugurated the work of separating the South from the North by the act of secession, passed by the legislature of South Carolina, in which that State seceded from the Union, December 20, 1860. This example was followed by others of the Southern States in the following order, eleven States passing ordinances of secession between the fifteenth day of December, 1860, and June 10, 1861: Mississippi, January 9, 1861; Florida, January 10, 1861; Alabama, January 11, 1861; Georgia, January 19, 1861; Louisiana, January 26, 1861; Texas, February 1, 1861; Virginia, April 17, 1861; Arkansas, May 6, 1861; North Carolina, May 21, 1861; Tennessee, by a vote of the people, June 8, 1861. The Western portion of Virginia refused to secede, and in 1863 was admitted into the Union as the loyal State of West Virginia.

The people of the South were then desirous of having the authorities of the United States withdrawn from the seceded States, and in order to hasten and compel this, an attack was made on Fort Sumter, April 12, 1861. This precipitated the war of the Rebellion - a four-years' struggle - that caused a loss of near 500,000 lives, and fastened upon the United "States a debt, at the close of the war, of near $3,000,000, 000.

An outline of each prominent battle, the numbers killed, wounded and taken prisoners, are given in the succeeding pages: