Saying the Confederate States of America fought the entire war for slavery is as ludicrous as it is naively biased. Jefferson Davis himself actually wrote in letter to his wife that slave property in the South would "eventually be lost. " Abraham Lincoln commonly made racist remarks about blacks and actually said that he was really concerned that the Union be preserved. While this may be a worthy aim, It is critical to understand that, As Andrew Jackson said, " the Union cannot be preserved through force. " If it is, Then it is not a true union at all.
This all comes from the basic understanding of a fundamental principle stated by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, Originally taken from the philosopher John Lock. The Consent of the Governed. This is why our founding fathers led a revolution against the British, And I would remind JMan that realistically they were "rebels" guilty of treason against the king.
But it is erroneous to say that the death and mayhem of the "Civil War" (or revolution of 1863 as I prefer to call it) was all for the preservation of the institution of slavery. On the contrary, It was Ulysses S. Grant who owned slaves during the war, Not Lee. It was the Confederate Constitution that banned the over sea slave trade, Not the U. S. Constitution. It was the Confederacy that paid its black soldiers equal wages, Not the northern army. So what was it all about? The South was fighting for a number of things. First and foremost, Allowing a constitutional way of getting rid of something that was, Economically speaking, Impossible at the time while ensuring the sovereign responsibilities of states. Protectionist tariffs was another item the Confederate Constitution banned, Something the northern states desperately wanted because of the industrial advantage over the agricultural South.
Each and every state has a constitutional right to succeed from the union. After all, they were the same states that decided to accept the constitution and the authority of the federal government. Therefore they have the same right to break the political bonds which tied them to the union. The South was fed up with the Union because of the corruptness that was sinking into the federal government. One main problem was that the states did not have enough power, and the fed was too powerful.
Abraham Lincoln started the war by sending soldiers in to another country (Fort Sumter) because he wanted to preserve the Union. The problem is that he stopped the rebellion by force-not negotiation. What gave Lincoln the right to actively STOP the rebellion. Certainly not the constitution.
The war was basically about state's rights. Yes, slavery was an evil that needed to be abolished but, according to the constitution, that was a decision to be made at a state level. As the North chose to abolish slavery without constitutional authority, they embraced the belief that that the end justifies the means, a philosophy that we find later in history with the advent of communism. Since the North won the war, the federal government has grown in power and now believes it has full authority over state governments.
I also believe that the South, given time, would have ended slavery on it's own if they had won the war, but one state at a time as the constitution directs. And certainly the North's main objective was not to abolish slavery, though it was an objective. The main objective was to save the union. If slavery was the main issue, than why didn't the North make slavery illegal and then go to war in order to support the law? Slavery was legal in the North well into the conflict.
The war did not start because of slavery, it was a war for states rights. The north did not fight to free slaves they fought for total control of the government. The north trampled all over the south, by taxing their goods, restricting their congressional powers, and forcing the northern way of life on the south. Next both sides would have kept or got ride of slavery to end the war. Not only that but not a single slave was freed during the war unless they fought in the armies.
During the civil war in the United States, southern states fought to maintain the right to keep slaves, while the north and the President fought to release them to freedom. There is no reason to believe that the South was right in their position. Slavery undermines the rights and freedoms due to all humans.
In many ways, the North and South were fighting for the same thing in the Civil War: their right to maintain a way of life that worked for them. The agrarian system has worked very well for the South and made it very wealthy. Unfortunately, that success was achieved through the exploitation of millions of slaves, many of whom were brought to the United States against their will and then abused, tortured and killed in the name of building the South.
Does it really matter that less than 15% of the Southern whites owned slaves.? That is still 15% too much of people treating those of African decent poorly by whippings, poor living conditions, or selling off family members to other Southern whites. Would it be better to say that we could fight a war if 50% or 75% of Southern whites owned slaves?
In any case, the rational for saying that states rights was the cause of the Civil War was wrong. The South in reality was trying to assert it’s own authority over the North with the Fugitive Slave acts or the ruling of the Dread Scott decision.
The real issue was the South was an oligarchy of big land owners that ruled unfairly. Not only did they oppress African-Americans, but also, lower class whites. So the poor whites were getting the short end of the deal by supporting slavery or segregation laws. They were victims of discrimination by the upper class whites too. The discrimination system was really about social class more than skin color.
I respect the Confederates for their determination and great fighting skills, but I do not believe their cause was Just. First off, they supported Slavery which is in itself morally wrong. Second, they were traitors and rebels which is unacceptable considering all the violence and destruction their war caused. Thank you for hearing me out and may God bless you all.
The Civil War was absolutely about slavery. The south's main purpose was to keep their slaves. That was the "states rights" they were fighting for. After succession they fired on fort Sumter with no attempts to negotiate first. They caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of young men. Few of their leaders even believed they were right.