. . . and six hundred thousand men were dead
The dispute that resulted in the secession of eleven Southern states from the Union and the ensuing Civil War proximately concerned the geographical expansion of slavery, but ultimately bore on the existence of the institution of slavery itself. This paper asks why in 1861 after seventy years of artful compromises over slavery civil conflict became unavoidable. The paper seeks an answer that goes beyond a description of the breakdown of compromises based on existing constitutional arrangements and that explains why attempts to negotiate a new constitutional compromise failed. Combining theoretical and historical analysis the paper concludes that in the years leading up to 1861 the outcome of the dispute over slavery had become too important to both Northern and Southern interests, relative to the expected costs of civil conflict, to be settled peacefully.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson, 1999.
"A Theory of Political Transitions,"
99-26, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Bordignon, Massimo & Brusco, Sandro, 1999.
"Optimal secession rules,"
ZEW Discussion Papers
99-51, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
- Robert H. Bates & Avner Greif & Margaret Levi & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 1998. "Analytic Narratives," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 6355, 06-2016.
- Avinash Dixit & Gene M. Grossman & Faruk Gul, 2000. "The Dynamics of Political Compromise," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 531-568, June.
- Herschel Grossman, 2002.
"Constitution or Conflict?,"
2002-01, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Grossman, Herschel I, 1999. "Kleptocracy and Revolutions," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 267-83, April.
- Fearon, James D., 1995. "Rationalist explanations for war," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(03), pages 379-414, June.
- Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
- Dmitriy Gershenson & Herschel I. Grossman, 2000. "Civil Conflict," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 44(6), pages 808-822, December.
- Dimitriy Gershenson & Herschel I. Grossman, 1999. "Civil Conflict: Ended Or Never Ending?," Working Papers 99-31, Brown University, Department of Economics.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9793. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.