I know people are fond of discussing how complicated were the causes of the American Civil War, and how complicated is the task of weighing the moral position of each side. I confess as I learn and think more about these topics, I just don’t see how either is overly complicated.
The southern states maintained the institution of African Slavery, and wanted to spread slavery to states entering the union.
The northern states were opposed to African Slavery, and were particularly opposed to more “slave” states entering the union.
The southern states got tired of arguing about it, and decided just to pull out of the union.
The northern states, as represented by the recently formed Republican Party, as represented by Abraham Lincoln, said, you can’t pull out of the union.
This latter disagreement was resolved by force.
The Moral Positions of Each Side
Again call me simplistic, but I just cannot get around the fact that the southern states perpetuated one of the most hateful, horrific institutions of the last 500 years.
Yes, yes, yes, I know that the northern states had terrible faults, and not the least of these were terrible and brutal racism. The draft riots in New York City for example, were among the most brutal race riots this country has ever seen. But to me everything pales in comparison to the enormity and the pure evil of the instituation of African Slavery.
The southern states were fighting for their right to maintain this institution. Case closed.