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Old 09-12-2019, 08:27 AM
RTFirefly is offline
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Join Date: Apr 1999
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IIRC, just about all of the eleven seceding states issued declarations setting for the reasons for their urgent departure. And they just about all listed preservation of slavery as reason #1.

Also there's Alexander Stephens' "Cornerstone Speech," where the Confederacy's new Vice-President said that the Confederacy's "foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth."

And of course, it is worth recalling that Abraham Lincoln did not propose to end slavery, rather proposing only that no new states be admitted to the Union as slave states. Absent the war, it would have taken a Constitutional amendment to end slavery in the Southern states, and Constitutional amendments need to be ratified by 3/4 of the states.

With 15 slave states in the Union, the end of slavery would have probably been at least two generations away - plenty of time for the Southern aristocracy to adapt to changed circumstances. But the idea of slaves ever becoming free and having human rights was anathema to them.