Reasons for the American Civil War

Does anyone here believe that the American Civil War wasn’t about slavery? I’m looking for reasons someone would believe that.

The Union’s main goal was just to reuinite the South, but that doesn’t mean that’s why it started.

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Some people believe it was about state rights, because the southern states felt misrepresented by Lincoln (he won after they were split between two candidates) and believed they shouldn’t have to be ruled by him if they didn’t want to (obviously one of their main disagreements was about slavery, but to some than it wasn’t about the subject of disagreement but about their idea of a right to disagree, and have a different president than the other states).

The North could have made the same misrepresentation argument against Buchanan and his predecessors before him if they had wanted. The United States had been dominated by Southerners since the days of Jefferson, so the idea that because they were “misrepresented” by Lincoln is a little absurd. The South was willing to subject the North to misrepresentation in government but the South was unable to handle losing power briefly in a democratic election? Despite this, I would agree that it was States’ Rights that caused the war, States’ Rights over slavery that is. The people who believe that the Civil War was in effect about the right of secession, or of states’ rights, are either woefully ignorant of what actually happened, or they are lying for political reasons. If you look at the context in which the Civil War happened, the years past were fraught with sectional conflict that directly related to slavery; the Compromise of 1850, which placated Southern slaveholders; the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which made Popular Sovereignty the rule in what was supposed to be free territory, designated by the Missouri Compromise all the way back in 1820; and, of course, the Dred Scott case, which basically stated that no territory had the right to withhold the right to property in slaves. In fact, the Republican party quite literally was founded as an anti-slavery coalition of sorts dedicated to stopping the extension of slavery, which gave rise to absolute hatred of the Republicans in the South. This is why Southerners treated the Republicans with such names as “Black Republicans”.

Even if we disregard these factors, many seceding states gave reasons for their secession, which of course listed slavery as a reason for their departure from the Union. The only way that the Civil War could be construed as not being a war about slavery is if you only looked at the conditions of the North in the first year or so of the war and only that, which paints a terribly inaccurate picture of it being a war to preserve the Union only. As for their “right to disagree,” Lincoln probably would never have even touched on the idea of abolishing slavery had a large part of the country not seceded precisely to protect that institution.

Well you asked for reasons not good reasons (of which there may be none).

However I don’t think your last sentence was true, you literally just said “the Republican party quite literally was founded as an anti-slavery coalition” (imo correctly) in the paragraph before.

Though you may be right after all : the Emancipation Proclamation notably only declared slaves free in the states where Lincoln had no effective authority, likely to maintain unity with the union states that still kept some slaves (where slavery was legal until the amendments were passed after Lincoln’s assassination).

I believe it wasn’t about slavery! It was over commerce and taxation! Slavery didn’t become the issue until the 3rd year into the war when pressured by Douglas and abolitionists did he sign the emancipation proclamation act.

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Yeah I am going to disagree with you on this! There is ample proof that the south’s succession was over taxation as the south at one point were being taxed close to 80% for materials supplying the North textile industry being one example. Also the North had control of the votes to the point the south hardly had any representation to push back when it came to voting on raising tariffs!

On your latter statement, Lincoln was painted into a corner as he was facing re-election and public morale with the war was at an all time Low, and viewed very unfavourable so IMO is what motivated Lincoln to signing the act in order to change the narrative in making the war about slavery! Lincoln was a master at manipulating the media at the time as he owned several newspapers and knew that changing the public perception was vital for his re-election chances!

Were all the people fighting the civil war slave holders??? Didn’t the people from the south fight to protect their land, their state, their way of life and their independence?

The south felt that the states should still have the right to decide if they were willing to accept certain federal acts.
This resulted in the idea of nullification, whereby the states would have the right to rule federal acts unconstitutional. The federal government denied states this right. When nullification would not work and many of the southern states felt that they were no longer respected, they moved towards thoughts of secession.

The goal of the north was to subjugate the south which is why they started blockades on southern ports even prior to the first shots being fired.

The attack on Ft. Sumpter was due to that blockade.

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True and remember that Lincoln said that if he believed he could have won the war without freeing the slaves he would not have done so.

Another attempt at derailing the thread about the cause of the civil war to ■■■■■■ Bankers! What an insuffable asshat!

Yes I do recall that in my readings somewhere, something like “Liberia as a place to ship all the slaves to If I recall correctly!

That actually came after the war. There was a large group of wealthy American Blacks and abolitionists that thought with the end of the war all Blacks should leave and start a new mirror republic in Liberia.

I’ve met Liberians that are more patriotic than a lot of Americans and they recognize that even with the scar of slavery that their ancestors suffered what they gained was worth all of the suffering.

Interesting place, interesting people.

Their country’s history begins in 1847 with the drafting of a constitution that was modeled on our own but it wasn’t until the post war era that any significant money was raised to transport the newly freed slaves to their new homeland.

I’m not the least bit racist but as much as it pains me to say so, our country would have far fewer problems today if congress had sent every black in N. America to Liberia at the end of the war.

Arguably most of them would have been better off too as they’d have not had a hundred years of Jim Crow etc and they’d have had a large enough, educated enough, and hard enough working population to create a near utopia as the only truly free and democratic republic in Africa.

Imagine how the spread of freedom and equality could have reshaped the continent to prevent a century of suffering and death, tribal warfare, famine, and starvation.

Handled properly it could have changed the world and created a permanent and very strong ally for us in Africa by 1880.

Missed opportunity.

Interesting I never really considered this point of view before regarding Liberia and the prospects of slaves being sent there.

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Although they opposed permanent tariffs, political expedience in spite of sound economics prompted the Founding Fathers to pass the first U.S. tariff act. For 72 years, Northern special interest groups used these protective tariffs to exploit the South for their own benefit. Finally in 1861, the oppression of those import duties started the Civil War.

A history book of good stature will tell you why the first stated voted to secede… emancipation was a clear after thought in Lincolns mind. Given that the south provided some 70 of the federal coffers at the time, the tariffs did indeed get the back of the south up… you might even see similar parallels today with the banking, finance and insurance industries of the northeast extracting wealth from the rest of the nation…

Again WTF?


Part of the reason the south seceded was due to the north not abiding by parts of the constitution, namely honoring other states laws (yes, those laws were about slavery, but they were still the law at the time). Another part was the fact that the south supplied something like 80-85% of the federal budget through tariffs on exports but only had about 35% of the house of representatives due to the 3/5 compromise. The founders realized that at some point one or more states would not be well served by the union and expected that they would leave peacefully. The fight to maintain the union was purely financial, as the north couldn’t survive without the south’s export tariff money.

Yet another derailment of the thread.

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