After emancipation proclamation by President Lincoln in 1863, the southern states were against the freeing of slaves that were their source of cheap labor. However, other states that made The Union also called The Northerners supported Lincoln’s declaration as they wanted everyone in America to be free (Hummel, 2013). The economy of the Northern region of USA was driven by industry which did not rely on slave labor. Seven southern states gathered to form the Confederate States of America and declared their secession from the USA. When they attacked Fort Sumter, a US fortress, war broke out between the two groups and only ended when the Confederate armies surrendered, and the Confederate government collapsed (Hummel, 2013). Different people have come up with different ideologies that explain the origin of the American Civil War. Part of the widely known theories is the Marxist Ideology, The Lost Cause Myth, and the Neo-Confederate Philosophy. Depending on how best the theories were explained, different interpretations and their applicability have been understood.
Karl Marx developed the Marxist Ideology. Marx was an influential philosopher and social scientist who always tried to have explanations for everything that happened (Laclau, 2011). Despite being a German, Marx tried to find out and document about the causes of the American Civil War. In his theory, Marx believed that the civil war was a revolution that led to the end of slavery and it destroyed the slave-owners power (Laclau, 2011). He believed that the war was based on political, military leaders and the economic development of the United state and it was a continuation of the American Revolution of 1776. This was because when Lincoln proclaimed the Emancipation law and the Northerner’s armed blacks, it transformed the war from a constitutional war into a revolutionary war (Cashman, 2013).
Marx believed that secession caused the Morill Tariff to go through the Congress. The United States had a free trade system initially. Morill, a representative, carried out his tariff in 1861 through the Congress after a rebellion by Southerners Abolition of slavery was not part of the reasons why the war began. Instead, the Yankees wanted to cut a colossal figure on the world stage. He further stated that the war began from the South and not North (Laclau, 2011). Southerners had been carrying out numerous activities that had been angering the Union Government which chose to stay silent on the former (Laclau, 2011). However, when the Confederates chose to Attack Fort Sumter on 12th April, the Union responded and war broke out. According to Laclau (2011), Confederates wanted the Union Government to surrender the fort within three days’ notice.
Marx further states that the election of Abraham Lincoln as president was the major signal for secession to take place. Lincoln was a representative of the Republican Party. According to Baylis (2013), The Democratic Party lost the election due to the splitting of votes between Douglas of the North and Breckinridge of the south. Lincoln was widely known for his anti-slavery slogan thus it threatened the Southerners who seceded. Besides, he states that the principle of the Civil war was formulated by the Confederate vice president, who stated that their Constitution recognized slavery as an institution in itself and it formed the foundation of the whole states edifice (Baylis, 2013). Stephen further said that this was the major difference between the Confederate and Union Government.
Marxism theory further states that the declaration of the Emancipation law by General Fremont followed by other Generals proclamations accelerated the desire to eradicate slavery.