Despite all the attempts at obfuscation and misdirection as to the causes of the American Civil War we all know now that slavery indeed was the primary issue that drove the debates and acrimony throughout Congress and the nation and eventually ’caused the War. Fearing the spread of slavery throughout the newly acquired territories much heated debates took place in Washington leading to compromises and accommodations to defuse the situation. Legislative agreements such as the Missouri Compromise, the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Wilmot Proviso were only stop-gap measures that slowed but not stopped the inexorable descent into outright war. Later the seven debates between Lincoln and Stephen Douglas high-lighted the issue of slavery and alerted the South as to Lincoln’s intentions should he become president.
COULD IT HAVE BEEN PREVENTED?
Whenever I am asked if the American Civil War could have been prevented I emphatically reply that it could have and should have been prevented. I base this assertion on the simple foundation that has been laid before us in the opening sentence of the Declaration of Independence:
“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another”etc.
This original declaration asserted the fundamental right of the Colonists to declare their freedom from the tyranny of Britain! But when the South espoused similar rights Lincoln was careful to avoid and ignore these profound philosophical concepts. Instead the devious and duplicitous attorney/politician focused the nation’s on the sanctity of the Union as man’s last great hope for American democracy and the nation’s integrity. He thus concentrated the nation’s energies into the carnage that we know as the American Civil War in order to “save the Union”,and the nation swallowed it hook, line and sinker!
I conclude that the South should have been allowed to state their own Declaration of Independence, to go their own way to form a society of like-minded peoples free from oppression by the North!