In the Great Debates area, there is a discussion called “Sectionalism And The Civil War” (and I hope someone who knows HTML or UBB can set up a link to it).
Just before the discussion veered off into the question of personal liberties and the source therein, Jois asked the question “If slavery had not existed, would there still have been a Civil War?”
Any takers on this?
Personal opinion: Unlikely at best (that there would be a Civil War, not that there will be any takers on this topic). The issue of States’ Rights was used as a stalking horse by the pro-slavery contingent; without slavery as a major dividing issue, the pro-States’ Rights forces would never have gained the power and strength that they did.