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was the civil war over slavery

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/4/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,291 times Debate No: 64582
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
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i believe that the Civil War was not over slavery it was over sates rights and taxes. my first argument will be short as the start of a normal debate. Slavery is one of the biggest issues in the civil war. i start this debate to show it isn't about slavery. now to get started the Union and Confederacy were only fighting because the north had invaded the southern states. the south during the war had only 6% of slave owners and the slaves were shipped to the US under the United States flag. So i have one question how was the war over slavery when the south barley had slaves and the north had more and brought them here in the first place.


Hello. Good luck on this debate.

First of i would suggest that you should read the secession documents. The word "slave" or "slavery" appears 35 times in the Georgia secession document. It appears 7 times in the Mississippi document. It is in the South Carolina document 18 times. Texas 22 times. Alabama 1 time (but domestic institution also appears which is a euphemism for slavery). And so on. In some cases you need to read the resolutions of the secession conventions--Arkansas March 20, 1861 for example. Slavery is front and center.

South Carolina pretty much destroyed the idea that the Civil War was over states' rights in its declaration. The state said that several northern states "have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them." They were very upset about this because these states' laws often allowed slaves to stay as freemen if within their territories. Okay, so the Civil War was about states' rights, unless that state didn't agree with the institution of slavery? Right.

But oh, Mississippi. They're a little bit off hinge nowadays, but back in the day, they were straight forward with their beliefs. Their declaration literally says that they're leaving the Union because their "position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth."

It's a bit long to post the whole declaration here, but seriously, go read it. They literally say that slaves are necessary because only Africans can handle the type of heat experienced through work in the South.

Ah, and the good old Peach State: Georgia. They wrote a lengthy declaration and actually cited numerous sources (something unheard of in the conservative party of today), but it all broke down to "leave our slaves alone!" One reason Georgia left is because a provision in "the Constitution [that] requires them [Northern states] to surrender fugitives from labor."

Georgia, not one to not go all out, also said "Our confederates, with punic faith, shield and give sanctuary to all criminals [runaway slaves] who seek to deprive us of this property or who use it to destroy us." That's right: runaway slaves were criminals and Georgia was mad that the North wasn't returning them. In fact, go ahead and read Georgia's declaration as well. It's a bit longer, but there's literally not three sentences that go by without mentioning slavery as a cause for secession.

There are my first parts of my side.
Debate Round No. 1


Ok the documents you have got a good point to them but i want to start out this round with Lincoln and his way ins on the Civil War since he claims that the war was over slavery AFTER the war itself came to a close. Lincoln has wrote down in a letter to generals and other government officials that if he could save the Union without freeing a single slave he would. of course you might want a source to look this up Presidential LIncoln by John Forbes Ludlow. now that ,that is out of the way i have another reason but it can be very contriversal and i thought it should be brought up since we are in a debate. Did Abraham Lincoln own slaves and the answer is yes he did even though history books say he didnt and as i know he lied and everyone dose say that he never told a lie and you know that is impossible. he has told many lies in his life and this is one of his biggest lies. and as a final statement from all kinds of people the victor tells the story which give a raising eyebrow to was the war over slavery or wasnt it


I do agree that President Lincoln didn't fully agree with abolishing slavery, but Lincoln wasn't the person who wanted to secede from the South
The South was the one who wanted to secede..

Reading words from the vice president of the Confederate States of America he says:
"The new Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions"African slavery as it exists among us"the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution [...] The general opinion of the men of that day [Revolutionary Period] was, that, somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution [slavery] would be evanescent and pass away [...] Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition."

Yea, you didn"t read that wrong. That is the Vice President of the Confederacy stating point blank that the only cause for secession was the institution of slavery.

Also, why are you bringing Lincoln in your argument? The south declared secession from the North in December 24, 1860. Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4, 1861, and by then 7 states had already seceded...
Debate Round No. 2


now yes i brought lincoln in to this for only one time to prove my point that he lied and said the was was over slavery. well as i have read your debate there are some raising eyebrows to this now it says that the vice president wrote this not the president of the confederate states of america which it was his opinion not Jeff Davis'. and another is that this was a revolution know that they revolted aginst the union and if we go back in history the first revolution came from taxes which did start a revolt. now after seeing what was wrong how do you know this is a true fact and not something that came from some cheap site. i do want to talk about what the number one general of the Confederacy said about slavery.Robert E. Lee letter dated December 27, 1856:

I was much pleased the with President's message. His views of the systematic and progressive efforts of certain people at the North to interfere with and change the domestic institutions of the South are truthfully and faithfully expressed. The consequences of their plans and purposes are also clearly set forth. These people must be aware that their object is both unlawful and foreign to them and to their duty, and that this institution, for which they are irresponsible and non-accountable, can only be changed by them through the agency of a civil and servile war. There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil. It is idle to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it is a greater evil to the white than to the colored race. While my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more deeply engaged for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, physically, and socially. The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their further instruction as a race, and will prepare them, I hope, for better things. How long their servitude may be necessary is known and ordered by a merciful Providence. Their emancipation will sooner result from the mild and melting influences of Christianity than from the storm and tempest of fiery controversy. This influence, though slow, is sure. The doctrines and miracles of our Saviour have required nearly two thousand years to convert but a small portion of the human race, and even among Christian nations what gross errors still exist! While we see the course of the final abolition of human slavery is still onward, and give it the aid of our prayers, let us leave the progress as well as the results in the hands of Him who, chooses to work by slow influences, and with whom a thousand years are but as a single day. Although the abolitionist must know this, must know that he has neither the right not the power of operating, except by moral means; that to benefit the slave he must not excite angry feelings in the master; that, although he may not approve the mode by which Providence accomplishes its purpose, the results will be the same; and that the reason he gives for interference in matters he has no concern with, holds good for every kind of interference with our neighbor, -still, I fear he will persevere in his evil course. . . . Is it not strange that the descendants of those Pilgrim Fathers who crossed the Atlantic to preserve their own freedom have always proved the most intolerant of the spiritual liberty of others?

Now this is only a number one general that wrote a letter saying that slavery was wrong and since it is only one person i give you another the President of the Confederate Sates of America.

"African slavery, as it exists in the United States, is a moral, a social, and a political blessing."

This says a quote from Jeff Davis himself saying

AFRICAN slavery exists in the United States which should prove my point that the war was not over slavery because the United States used this as a political blessing which allowed the Union to say that the war was over slavery a. this is possibly another reason what the war was over all of it could have been politics. Last thing i have to say please vote for me this stuff was looked up in books and several places where it talks about this cruel war and i have looked up the quotes on brain quote for every ones information it is pretty hard to find this stuff since it has been hidden for over a hundred fifty years.


Golfer15 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Golfer15 2 years ago
Haha. James you know it ;) he is very wise :p
Posted by us 2 years ago
where do you think he is getting some of his arguments james14
Posted by james14 2 years ago
Golfer, it is funny you are debating this. I think I know where you got some of your arguments!
Posted by jvenia 2 years ago
The civil war was and wasn't over slavery, if that makes any sense. Slavery was just one of the many reasons the civil war happened. If slavery didn't exist in America before the civil war, it still would of happen.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
It was the democrats that wanted slavery. The same today. Except today they herded them into the plantation of public housing. All they do is feed and clothe them and give them a place to live.What they do not give them is dignity.And they still get free labor. Votes.
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