Date of Award


Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Liberal Studies


Claire Strom


The root of large-scale human conflict is the protection of economic interests. The economic motivations for the South to secede clashed with the interests of the North in preserving the trade relationships that existed. In choosing the path that led to conflict over peace, decision-makers leaned towards what they believed would be most profitable on the margins. The financial viability of a southern Confederacy was contingent upon the successful separation of Gulf states from the Union. The economic interests generated by Florida's Gulf ports provided a strong incentive for the state to secede, for the emerging Confederacy to support that secession, and for the United States government to resist it with force.