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  1. MediaOps
    November 4, 2013

    Slavery was indeed the cause of the Civil War. Or rather, the economics of slavery.

    Today, the Tea Party tries to deny this in order to broaden its appeal and mainstream its racist elements. But the history behind the war is very clear.

    Even during the Civil War, Confederates didn’t like to admit they were fighting to preserve slavery. Bad PR! Instead they generally referred to it as the “Cause,” or the “Glorious Cause.” But everyone at the time knew perfectly well what the “Glorious Cause” meant. And the events that led up to the war leave no doubt as to what it was all about.

    Slavery as an institution is economically unsustainable. By 1840, it was already causing economic stagnation in large parts of the South.

    By the 1850s, it was becoming clear to pro-slavery interests that in order for slavery to remain economically viable, it would have to be introduced to the new territories in the West.

    But Northern abolitionists in Congress prevented this, limiting slavery to states where it already existed. Slave-holding states, using the Bible to justify slavery, rebelled and seceded.

    Slavery apologists like to refer to the Civil War as the “War of Northern Aggression,” but it was clearly the South who started it, attacking the Federal military base at Fort Sumpter and later threatening Washington, D.C., leading to the battle of Bull Run.

    Lincoln understood that if the Union was fractured the country would dissolve into chaos. Even before the end of the war the Confederacy itself was beginning to fall apart, Southern states squabbling among themselves, threatening to secede from the Confederacy.

    The Tea Party likes to pretend the war was fought over ‘States’ Rights,’ but the ‘rights’ the South was fighting for was the ‘right’ to export slavery to the Western territories. Many today still champion the “Glorious Cause,” but the “Glorious Cause” they talk about now is simply racism.

    There’s no doubt whatsoever that if the South had won the war, slavery would have spread to the West and continued for many years, possibly even after 1900. Sooner or later, however it would have collapsed economically.

    Historians usually talk about the war as a moral crusade against an inhuman practice, and that was certainly part of it. But the main cause was what usually causes most wars: Money.

  2. Moongrim
    November 3, 2013

    As I recall the Confederated States Constitution also mentions slavery as being the main reason.

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