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Which Of The Issues Dividing The Antislavery Reformers Before 1860 Was Most Likely To Develop Into Separate Reform Movement?

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There was over half a century of political wrangling and social arguments leading up to the American Civil War in 1860 between the American north and south over the slave trade that was prevalent in the southern states.

With population growing in the north and stagnating in the south, the slave states found themselves with less political power and so their position to support slavery was also weakened. Abraham Lincoln was elected president without gaining any of the southern states and not even being on the ballot paper in several.

Reformers in the north often came from a Christian background with a puritanical 'do not unto others as you would unto yourself' message which the south saw as a direct attack not only on the slave trade but on themselves and their way of life.

Slavery was not the only issue that separated north and south; the north was also modernizing in other ways that left the south behind. The Republican party's strengthening ideology of free market competition meant that the more conservative south was threatened.

The overall urbanization and subsequent increase in education in the north also lead to a more widespread condemnation of slavery as a practice that was impossible to defend. The south tried to portray it as a necessary evil preferable to the idea of an industrialized society that would allow a certain chivalrous way of life to continue.

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