At this point it’s hard for me to say if this is a factual question or a great debate, but I fear the latter:
Was the Civil War in the US fought over (the abolition of) slavery?
When I was a kid (80’s, Western Europe), I was taught a very simple view: the bad guys in the south had black slaves, the good guys in the north found that inhumane; they went to war and the good guys won.
Later on, a friend told me a ‘revisionist’ view: the war wasn’t about slavery, Lincoln only abolished slavery as a matter of economic warfare: no slaves, no cotton, no money etc.
I could go on and on about what I read and heard, but the point is: I’m not buying the simple view anymore. I find it very hard to believe that in the 1860’s the Union spent millions and sent thousands of young men into battle over a late 20th century abstract idea of universal human rights. The cities in the north didn’t have slavery but I’m pretty sure the average WASP didn’t consider a black man as his equal, so why care so much how they were treated in the deep south?
(I apologize - on behalf of the rest of Europe - for my lack of knowledge on US history; from a European perspective the US disappeared after the War of Independence, only to resurface in the 20th century to save us in the World Wars …)
Thanks in advance for your views and info!