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During the 1800s the United States of America went through a turbulant period of expansion and reoriganiztion In the years between 1861 and 1865 there was a civil war between the northern and southern states It was the bloodiest war in American history What were the causes of this horrible conflict Many believe that slavery was the only issue that motivated the South to secede and fight for independance Although slavery was a source of great controversy from the beginning there were other factors dividing the country The contrasting economies of the North and South fueled the debate over slavery as well as other political issues Some of the first signs of trouble happend when Missouri wanted to become a state in 1819 Missouri wanted to be a slave state At this time there were twenty-two states in the Union Half were slave states and the other half were free If Missouri became a slave state it would destroy this balance in favor of the slave states A wave of Protestant revivals known as The Great Awakening inspired many people in the North to become abolitionists against slavery Slaveholders in the south fearing economic ruin portrayed slavery as both important to prosperity and a way to keep black people from turning into savages This tension between ideals led Henry Clay a representitive of Virginia and a slaveholder to come up with the Missouri Comprimise Three northern counties of Massachusetts wanted to break away and become their own state They were allowed to enter the Union as a free state called Maine and Missouri was allowed to enter as a slave state It was also stipulated that any state in the Louisiana Purchase north of Missouris southern border would be a free state This eased tensions for a few years Eli Whitney an inventor was a major influence on the economic development of the United States In 1794 he patented
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