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Cause of the Civil War

Instructions: Columbia Southern University library must be used for the 2 resources


Causes of the Civil War

For more than 160 years, historians have painstakingly searched for the one factor that caused the American Civil War, the event that caused disunion to turn to war. The search is so intense that the American Civil War is one of the most researched events in the history of the United States. Throughout Unit VII, we have seen various events or variables that could be identified as a factor that has set the United States on a path toward the American Civil War. This one factor and its impact will be the focus of our Unit VII assignment. 

Assignment Instructions:

After reading the Unit VII Study Guide and Chapter 14, construct an essay that skillfully answers the following prompt:

Select one event from the list below and describe why you believe this single event caused such intense disunion within the United States that the country was placed on a trajectory toward the American Civil War. 

  • The Compromise of 1850
  • The Kansas-Nebraska Act
  • Presidential Election of 1856
  • Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)
  • The Lincoln-Douglas Debates
  • John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry
  • Presidential Election of 1860

Assignment Requirements:

  • Provide an insightful and thorough overview of the event and clearly describe how it served as a catalyst for the American Civil War.
  • Because this is an academic research paper, no personal opinions are to be used. Stay focused on the research.
  • In-text citations and a reference list are required. A title page and abstract are not.
    • At least two resources from the CSU (Columbia Southern University) database collection must be cited within the text of your essay and noted on your reference page.
    • Peer-reviewed resources are preferred, but are not required.
    • Academically viable Internet resources are permitted, but are supplemental to the two required resources from the CSU database collection.
  • Required minimum length: 2 pages

Recommendations for Success:

  • Do not begin to work on the Unit VII assignment until you have read (in full) the Unit VII Study Guide and read/viewed the assigned Required Unit Resources.
  • After you have read/reviewed the Unit VII material, carefully review the Unit VII Essay Rubric so that you are aware of how your work will be evaluated.
  • Recommended electronic databases to use:
    • America: History and Life
    • JSTOR
    • Academic Search Ultimate
  • Construct what is known as a 3×5 essay. That means you will write a total of five full paragraphs, three of which will be supporting evidence paragraphs focused on one specific supporting point identified by a clear topic sentence. The other two paragraphs will be the introduction, which comes first and will include your thesis statement, and the conclusion, which comes last and will recap all your main points.
  • Remember the all-important 5 Ws of information; dive into the details to help present strong content. Remember to always incorporate the 5 Ws of research into your writing: who, what, where, when, and why. All of these are needed in each of your five paragraphs.
  • Organization is important too! Consider that the essay may have the strongest content available, but if its structure or pace is weak, the content is negatively impacted.


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