The issue that brought about the Civil War was not the evils of slavery, but of secession. The moral question had long been acknowledged by all sides, and in fact Virginia was among the first of several states to outlaw the slave trade. The Confederate Constitution addressed it long before the Union one, and ironically it was Lincoln’s invasion that halted the debate on how to rightly abolish it. The issues that precipitated secession in 1861 were much the same as those which brought about a declaration of secession in 1776.
Secession was a result of the federal government overstepping the boundaries set forth in the Constitution. Theses boundaries were established as a safeguard against those issues that led to the first secession.
In tracing the history of the argument, we need to look back at the debates of both the Northwest Ordinance and the Missouri Compromise. We can see that the “extension of slavery” into new states was an issue that highlighted the bigger one. Contrary to popular opinion, this did not mean more slaves in more states. The slave trade was already abolished, and debates were beginning on how best to abolish the institution entirely. The issue was whether slaves could be moved by those settling to the new states.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Here is a concise explanation of why Mr. Lincoln's war was fought. It was not about slavery -- it was about secession, or "preserving the Union." It was written by Timothy Cotton in "How I See It", a feature in the Culpeper (Virginia) Star-Examiner.
This discussion was cut short by war. Because that discussion was cut short and the war took place, full equality for the African-American was held back by Jim Crow and federal meddling. Consequently it took almost 150 years to accomplish what African-Europeans and African-Brazilians accomplished much sooner. And another result of that war was setting into motion the gradual federal dismantling of the Constitution, which we are seeing is nearly completed.