Clarissa Huesca. History 2010 36 E. November 18, 2017.
The Civil War was a very significant part of American history and has immensely shaped the United States as we know it today. The direct cause of the Civil War is probably one of the most controversial topics in American history. Many believe its cause was the conflict between the North and South on whether or not to preserve the institution of slavery. During that time, slavery was the law of the land but the North wanted abolishment while the South did not. Others thought its cause was not directly the conflict of slavery or sectionals but a variety of other reasons. Some historians feel that the Civil War was a result of political mistakes and that slavery did not cause it at all. Several others believe the expansion of slavery, and its entrance into the political scene was the real causation.
In “The Sectional Divisions That Led to Civil War,” David M. Potter agrees that the sectional divisions and their many problems were the primary causes of the Civil War rather than politics. As stated in the Article,
“Once the government under the constitution went into effect, bitter sectional conflicts raged over the assumption of state debts, chartering of the central bank, and other matters.”[footnoteRef:0] [0: David M. Potter, The Sectional Divisions That Led to Civil War: Major Problems in American History. 387]
Although, Potter explains that politicians wanted to deal with the reason that divided the country. The "most serious cause of sectional conflict," according to Potter was slavery. The tension over slavery was the conflict considered to be the problem of the individual states, rather than a problem of the country as a whole.
In “The Political Divisions Contributed to the Civil War” Michael F. Holt expresses that the Civil War’s cause is instead the fault of political aspects. The political leaders, parties, and issues at the time. Stating in his article,
“Historians have minimized the internal solidarity of both the North and the South and seriousness of disputes between them. They have blamed the war instead on the mistakes of political leaders and the effects of agitators such as the abolitionists and southern fire-eaters”[footnoteRef:1] [1: Michael F. Holt, The Political Divisions Contributed to the Civil War: Careening Towards Civil War. 384]
Holt sees the Civil War as portraying a breakdown in America's democratic political system, specifically the Second Party System of Whigs and Democrats. He mostly considers the timing of the conflict. He feels that the breakdown in the systems created a panic within the nation and that this panic turned into war.
The authors’ perspectives are similar in that they both have the same information as professors and know the sides of the controversial topic but differ on which side they agree with. They both see that sectional division is a factor of the Civil War but Holt focuses more on the political system and Potter focuses on the confli...