Causes of the American Civil War 1861-1865

Causes of the American Civil War 1861-1865

Bogdan Góralski

Library of the Historical Institute of the University of Warsaw


From 1807, when the first steamer was constructed, the world was globalized thanks to modern means of transport, enabling the mass and quick transportation of goods and especially food. The continents separated by oceans have become a system of interdependent socio-economic systems whose functioning affected the rest of the world. This world was slowly subject to industrialization, but still, the basis of the economy was agriculture dependent on regional climate change.

Regional climate changes were associated with the displacement of the Earth coating beneath immobile the Earth’s atmosphere and its climatic zones. The Earth coating moved under the influence of the variable gravitational interactions of the Solar System, which I described in detail in my works available on the Internet. As agreed (St-Onge, G., and JS Stoner. 2011) (Góralski B., 2019), the Earth’s coating moved in AD 1500-1860 so that the continent of North America moved north by 20 degrees latitude and the Asian continent was moved south by the same amount. It caused changes in the location of precipitation zones on both continents and, as a consequence, changes in food production conditions. Probably in southern China, there was a decline in monsoon rainfall in 1851-1864 because most of China’s area was perhaps in the rain-free zone all year round, i.e., between the 20th and 30th parallel. It resulted in a lack of food and caused the civil war during Tajping’s upraising.

The southern United States of America has found itself in the dry zone all year round since AD 1700, which resulted in favorable climate conditions for cotton cultivation and an increase in the area of ​​cotton cultivation. At the same time, the dry climate did not allow the production of cereals, which dominated the well-irrigated states of the northern US. Agricultural production, mainly cereal production, developed well in the northern states from east to the west thanks to settlers coming from Europe, who created several million farms and significantly increased agricultural production. Thanks to the railroad and steamers, it was possible to transport cereal grains from west to the east USA to seaports to the steamers transporting surplus grain to starving Europe. The vast increase in grain prices began in Europe since 1750 and lasted until 1830.  Since 1830 prices began to fall, which lasted until 1900. Steamers transported cereal grain from the USA to Europe, and the volume of American cereal exports could reach 20% of European consumption. It caused a good economic situation in the agriculture of the northern US  states producing mainly cereals and a good economic situation in the southern US states favorably exporting cotton to Europe. In the years 1800-1840, American national income grew rapidly due to prosperous agriculture. After the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, the internal situation of Europe stabilized, and the deconcentration of feudal agricultural estates began under the slogans of the enfranchisement of peasants, which ended with the enfranchisement of Russian peasants in 1861. As a result of enfranchisement, Europe’s agricultural production increased, especially in Eastern Europe, which was due to increased rainfall, and grain imports from the US became unnecessary and unprofitable due to European customs barriers.

It caused a regression in agriculture and the whole economy in the northern US states affected by reduced grain exports to Europe. This affected the physical condition of American farmers and was noted in the recruit’s heights registers. Between 1830 and 1890, the average heights of the recruits decreased by 4.4 cm, which indicates a deterioration in the living conditions of the US population. A similar decline in the recruit’s heights occurred at that time in Mexico, which is related to both climate change and the deterioration of the economy of Mexico connected with the US with economic ties.

Probably the economic condition of the southern states of the USA was very good thanks to the prosperous export of cotton and large profits created by slave labor. This caused pressure to secede and release from ties with the economically weak northern states dependent on the dying export of cereals, which caused the announcement of the secession of the Confederate States of the South in 1861. Therefore, the northern US states, desiring to weaken the aspiration to secede the southern states, caused on 22 September 1862 the Proclamation of the Emancipation abolishing slavery in the Confederate States of America. From 1823, a wave of humanism in Western civilization abolished modern slavery, and the American Proclamation of Emancipation was at the same time an act of humanism and a cold economic and political calculation aimed at overthrowing the Confederate Southern States economy system based on cheap slave labor. After the American Civil War, the value of agricultural assets in the South of the United States decreased several times, which proves the economic collapse of the South.

As a result of the civil war, the northern US states dominated the southern states, and black people gained personal freedom in the USA.

Warsaw, 8 March 2020, 10:40                                                    Bogdan Góralski


Góralski B., (2019), The new look at the Earth’s climate mechanism and the Cosmo-geophysical system of the Earth, published in Google Books.

St-Onge, G., and J.S. Stoner. (2011), Paleomagnetism near the North Magnetic Pole: A unique vantage point for understanding the dynamics of the geomagnetic field and its secular variations. Oceanography 24 (3): 42–50,

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