Answer: States’ Rights! – NOT Slavery
THE PROBLEMS THAT LED TO THE CIVIL WAR are the same problems today —-big, intrusive government. The reason we don’t face the specter of another Civil War is because today’s Americans don’t have yesteryear’s spirit of liberty and constitutional respect, and political statesmanship is in short supply.
Actually, the war of 1861 was not a civil war. A civil war is a conflict between two or more factions trying to take over a government. In 1861, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was no more interested in taking over Washington than George Washington was interested in taking over England in 1776. Like Washington, Davis was seeking independence. Therefore, the war of 1861 should be called “The War Between the States” or the “War for Southern Independence.” The more bitter southerner might call it the “War of Northern Aggression.”
History books have misled today’s Americans to believe the war was fought to free slaves.
Statements from the time suggest otherwise. In President Lincoln’s first inaugural address, he said, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so.” [more]