Historians: Civil War about slavery (obviously)





Across the former Confederacy, preparations are under way for the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War. South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union, December 20, 1860. And while many organizations are working to incorporate both the black and the white experience, there are complaints that most events will glorify the Antebellum South and the Lost Cause while overlooking the major reason for the war: slavery....

Mark Simpson, commander of the South Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, acknowledged that an event such as the December 20 Secession Gala in Charleston is seen by most Americans as politically incorrect. But "to us it is part of our nature and our culture and our heritage. Slavery was a very big issue. Anyone who denies that has his head in a hole somewhere. But slavery was not the single or primary cause, and that is where the line gets drawn. The primary cause was states’ rights – the purported right of states to nullify federal laws and freely leave the Union they voluntarily joined.”

Most historians would disagree, and strongly! "Slavery was the principal cause of the U.S. Civil War, period," said Bob Sutton, chief historian for the National Park Service. "Yes, politics was important. Yes, economics were important. Yes, social issues and states’ rights were important. But when you get to the core of why all these things were important, it was slavery!"...



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