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The Civil War was a fight to preserve the Union which was the United States of America. From the conception of the Constitution, there were two differing opinions on the role of the federal government. Federalists believed that the federal government and the executive needed to maintain their power in order to insure the survival of the union. On the other hand, anti-federalists held that states should retain much of their sovereignty within the new nation. Basically that each state should have the right to determine the laws within its own borders and should not be forced to follow the mandates of the federal government unless absolutely necessary.

As time passed the rights of the states would often collide with various actions the federal government was taking.

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Arguments arose over taxation, tariffs, internal improvements, the military, and of course slavery.

Increasingly, the Northern states squared off against the Southern states. One of the main reasons for this was that the economic interests of north and south were opposed to each other. The South was largely comprised of small and large plantations that grew crops such as cotton which were labor intensive. The North, on the other hand, was more of a manufacturing center, using raw materials to create finished goods. Slavery had been abolished in the north but continued in the south due to the need for inexpensive labor and the ingrained culture of the plantation era. As new states were added to the United States, compromises had to be reached concerning whether they would be admitted



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