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Comp.cont.slave Revolt Essay, Research Paper
The American Civil War was inevitable and had numerous causes that led to it. This paper will discuss three important causes of the war the invention of the cotton gin, Nat Turner’s rebellion, and the abolitionist movement toward ending slavery. There are many causes of the war, but I feel these three are substantial causes. Each of these events or movements created more tension between the North and the South and eventually war was unavoidable.
The invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney had a great effect on slavery and agriculture in the South. The cotton gin was a machine that removed the seeds from the cotton. Removing the seeds from the cotton was a long and tedious process. This invention made processing cotton relatively fast and easy. The cotton gin’s speed allowed the cotton plantations to produce massive amounts of cotton. This became very profitable. To support the harvesting of all of the cotton, more slaves were needed to run the cotton gins and harvest the cotton. This brought more slaves to America and boosted the population of slaves in the South. The increased number of slaves in the South actually helped heighten the problem with slavery. Slavery was becoming more evident and people were becoming more aware that slavery was wrong in both the North and the South.
The next cause was a slave named Nat Turner and his actions. Nat was a slave who had found God and religion. Gradually he built a religious following that justified a slave revolt. On August 13, 1831, Turner says he saw a halo around the sun. He thought that this was a sign from God to begin the revolt. This was the beginning of Nat Turner’s rebellion. On August 22, 1831, Nat Turner led eight slaves to the Travis’s residence, a white family, and murdered five members of their family. The slaves then moved across the county murdering white plantation owners, their families, and other whites that crossed their path. As the group moved, they gained in size at every stop that they made. Many slaves joined the original eight. Not all slaves joined in on the rebellion, some stayed behind fearing that they would be stopped and killed or sentenced to harsh consequences. The group of men swelled to over seventy and managed to kill fifty-eight men, women, and children including Turner’s slave owner. The killing spree went on for forty hours before the Virginia Militia apprehended the group. Nat Turner was able to escape capture by the Militia. Turner was able to evade authorities for eight days in the area near Southampton. This was until Benjamin Phipps spotted and captured Turner at gunpoint. Once in the hands of authorities, Turner confessed and told all of his motives for the killing spree. This killing spree caused many spin-off effects. The first effect was the treatment that the southern slaves received after the revolt. It drastically declined as the slave owners beat their slaves to put more fear into them to prevent another revolt. The next effect was the owners’ fear of another revolt. If more slaves had joined the revolt many more may have been killed. There was a lot of tension of another revolt. The last effect that the revolt stirred up was a heightened awareness of poor slavery conditions in the South. It drew the attention of the north to make an effort to start the abolition of slavery.
The abolitionists played an important part in influencing the Civil War and abolishing slavery. They worked hard to bring attention to cruelness of slavery. They protested from the late 1700’s until the end of the war to get slavery abolished. Emancipation was achieved by all of the northern states by 1804. Next, slave trading was abolished 4 years later. As time goes on, the abolitionists become more radical and eventually get louder and attract more people on to follow the path to free that slaves. Flyers, articles and petitions began spreading the word of abolishing slavery. All of the work of talking and abolishing forced the friction between the North and the South to increase steadily. Eventually the friction increased to until the American Civil War was started.
The causes of the civil war are much broader than this essay. This essay does cover three important causes. I chose to use points from all aspects of tension. Agriculturally, the cotton gin increased the number of slaves and made them louder and more visible. Individuals can make their voice heard as Nat Turner turned against his owners and made a stand against slavery. Finally, the hard work of the abolitionist to get laws passed and voice their views of slavery which caused a lot of tension that divided the North and the South. These causes led America to divide and move into a long bloody battle that ended with the Union winning and the abolition of slavery. The effects of this war are still felt in America today.