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View Diary: History 101: Yes, The Civil War was About Slavery, the S. Carolina Statement of Secession (20 comments)

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  •  Thanx for Effectively Refuting Revisionist History (3+ / 0-)

        I do occasionally hear this contrarian argument from intellectual dilettantes that "the Civil War wasn't really about slavery." Or, "Lincoln didn't fight the Civil War to free the slaves."

         I don't hear it so much from Southern Republican Neo-Confederate White Supremacist types, because I don't really know very many Southern Republican Neo-Confederate White Supremacist types.  I actually tend to hear it from people on the liberal end of the spectrum, and it annoys me to no end.  I suppose low-information liberals tend to believe that such thinking fits in with the idea that liberals are supposed to be skeptical about history, always challenging the "establishment" view.

         I suppose the starting point for the argument is that the Civil War didn't start until after the South attempted to secede, and Lincoln didn't make the Emancipation Proclamation until after the war started, therefore freeing the slaves was the effect and not the cause.  

         But it's a silly argument, like knocking a glass off a table and saying, "No, I didn't break it.  The FLOOR broke it.  The last time I touched that glass, it was in perfect shape."  

         It's true that Lincoln's primary objective in the Civil War was not to free the slaves but to prevent secession, but the fact is that the South seceded because they wanted to preserve the institution of slavery, and they saw Lincoln's election  as the beginning of the end of their political power to do so.  If not for that single issue, there would have been no secession, and no war.   Yes, the Civil War was about slavery.  


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