causes of the civil war

Times New Roman, Double-Spaced, ~800–1,000 words, Chicago Style Format

For this paper, use the readings from Week 2-6, as well as reputable outside sources, to answer the following prompt:

What were the political, social, and legal causes of the Civil War? How are these causes connected? 

Rather than solely examining the idea of State Rights over Federalism, or the failure to end slavery after the ratification of the Constitution, examine how key moments and movements contributed to worsening relations between slave-holding communities and non-slaveholding ones. Think about Manifest Destiny, the Fugitive Slave Act, Free-Soilers, etc. These events did not occur independently from each other, but rather shared a portion of the tensions brewing in the United States between 1830 to 1859.

To receive a high grade:

  • Develop an Introduction that:
    • Explains the basis of the paper
      • Address the time, place, and topic you are writing about
    • Directly answer the prompt in a strong thesis
      • State your argument for the essay
      • Provide an overview of how you will organize your thoughts and sources 
      • Connects all plot points of the paper
        • Highlight key details that will be discussed in the paper
  • Write body paragraphs should organize around the main idea included the topic sentence. The following sentences should refer to evidence to support that main idea.
    • Each paragraph should show an in-depth analysis of the evidence  provided
    • These paragraphs should demonstrate unique arguments and ideas 
  • Make a conclusion that summarizes the essay’s ideas and suggest connections to course themes
    • Bring it all together
    • What are some lasting consequences of the arguments and ideas discussed
  • Respect Spelling, Grammar, Citations Rules
    • Times New Roman, Double-Spaced, Chicago Format 


  • Since this is a history course, we will use the Chicago Manual of Style. The following links are perfect to learn the format:
  • Outside sources may be used to help answer the prompt. These sources are restricted to academic articles and monographs. If you are not sure if potential sources qualify for this paper, please reach out AT LEAST TWO DAYS BEFORE THE DUE DATE!
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