Daily English
Cultural English
Practical English

074 Name one problem that led to the Civil War.

74. Name one problem that led to the Civil War.
• Slavery • Economic • States’ rights reasons

During the 1800s, the United States grew very quickly, but it did not grow in the same way in all places. Over time, there were more and more differences between the northern states and the southern states. These differences eventually (or in the end) led to the Civil War, which was a war where Americans fought against each other from 1861 to 1865. The most important differences that led to the Civil War were slavery, the economy, and states’ rights.

Slavery (or the practice of owning people and forcing them to work without paying them) was more common (or usual and normal) in the southern states than in the northern states. The north had many small, family-owned farms and enough people to work on them. But in the south, there were fewer people. Most of the farms were very large and the owners needed slaves to do the work. Slaves were a critical (or very important) part of how the south made money, but people in the north were beginning to think that slavery was immoral (or wrong) and wanted to make it illegal (or against the law). This made the southern states afraid and angry and they wanted to secede from (or leave) the United States and create their own country.

There were also economic (or business and money) reasons for the Civil War. The southern states had many plantations (or large farms). These plantations were dependent on (or needed) agriculture, which included farming and raising animals for food. For the south to have a strong economy, it needed plantations to make money. The northern states had larger and more developed cities. Many of the people in the northern states made money from manufacturing (or making things to sell) and trading (or selling things to other countries). Some historians (or people who study things that happened in the past) believe that these economic differences were a cause of the Civil War (or one of the reasons for the Civil War).

Finally, states’ rights (or the ability to do and have certain things) were another problem that led to the Civil War. The population (or the number of people) in the northern states was growing very quickly, with a lot of immigration (or people coming from other countries to live there). In the south, the population was growing more slowly. Southern states were afraid that they would lose their rights because the northern states would have more representation in the federal government. Southern states were also worried that the federal (or national) government would become too strong, taking power away from the states. This was the third major cause of the Civil War.


eventually – after a long period of time
* I have delayed learning how to fix a car for a long time, but I’ll learn to do it eventually to save money on repairs.

common – usual and normal; not rare
* In the United States, it is common for a family to have two or more cars.

critical – very important and significant
* Math skills are critical for accountants.

immoral – wrong; against the standards of society
* Many people believe that it is immoral to kill for any reason.

to be dependent on (something) – to need something in order to work or function properly
* Florida's economy is dependent on tourism.

to manufacture – to make things to sell
* Three of the largest companies in this country manufacture cars.

to trade – to buy and sell things, usually between countries or states
* Which countries does the United States trade cotton with?

cause – a reason why something happens
* The increase in the number of cars is one of the causes of global warming.

right – the power or ability to do something; a freedom
* Members of our organization believe that all women should have the right to go to school.

immigration – the process of people coming to a country to live there, even though they weren't born there
* In recent years, the United States has had a lot of immigration from Central and South America.