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Old 01 July 2015, 06:40 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
Join Date: 29 December 2005
Location: Greenwood, IN
Posts: 6,912

Originally Posted by erwins View Post
The reason for secession and war (slavery) isn't necessarily the same as the reasons why individual soldiers fought. But the war was about slavery.
Remember the slogan from the 60's; "What if they gave a war and nobody showed up?"

Wars are always largely about what the guy carrying the pointy stick thinks they are about. Sometimes the gov't can trick them into thinking something that is wrong but generally that doesn't last very long (see Vietnam War). I suspect that the dirt-poor southerners that made up their army didn't give a rat's ass about slavery. What they did care about was that it was their state's decision and not the federal governments. That's where the states right argument comes from and it is damn hard to argue that that viewpoint is without merit. Indeed the proof of merit is that several hundred thousand southerners were willing to die to protect the sovereignty of their state.

Governments make mistakes all the time, and they do evil things all the time. To say that the federal gov't was good and the secessionist bad is really only true for one of the many issues that were important at the time. Slavery really didn't become "the reason" until well into the war and even then the guys with guns in blue and grey really didn't care about that issue.

The war clearly ended slavery and that is certainly the major lasting effect of the war. But few people in the North were willing to go to war just over the issue of slavery. The North had tolerated slavery in the South for many years and could have gone on doing so.
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