Yes, the Civil War was about slavery—for the South: Daily Bullshit, October 31-November 1, 2017

Admiral Janeway, October 30, 2017
Admiral Janeway, October 30, 2017

Civil War

What is elided here,[1] and is very often overlooked generally, is that the North did not fight the war to liberate the slaves—the Emancipation Proclamation came well after the war had begun and may have been a tactic to enlist escaped slaves in the war effort against the South. The North fought the war to preserve the Union. As Abraham Lincoln himself put it,

My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy Slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union, and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.[2]

As Julia Martinez writes, slavery was indeed a central issue leading to the Civil War,[3] but for the South, which believed its beloved “peculiar institution” to be under seige.[4]

Julia Martinez, “For Civil-War Scholars, a Settled Question That Will Never Die: What Caused the War?” Chronicle of Higher Education, October 31,
2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/For-Civil-War-Scholars-a/241627


Universal Basic Income

Aditya Chakrabortty, “A basic income for everyone? Yes, Finland shows it really can work,” Guardian, October 31, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/31/finland-universal-basic-income


Sacramento

Tim Craig, “A massive storm flooded Houston. Experts say California’s state capital could be next,” Washington Post, October 29, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/a-massive-storm-flooded-houston-experts-say-californias-state-capital-could-be-next/2017/10/29/e48bf9ea-ae9f-11e7-9e58-e6288544af98_story.html


  1. [1]Julia Martinez, “For Civil-War Scholars, a Settled Question That Will Never Die: What Caused the War?” Chronicle of Higher Education, October 31,
    2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/For-Civil-War-Scholars-a/241627
  2. [2]Abraham Lincoln, “A Letter From President Lincoln.; Reply to Horace Greeley. Slavery and the Union The Restoration of the Union the Paramount Object,” New York Times, August 24, 1862, http://www.nytimes.com/1862/08/24/news/letter-president-lincoln-reply-horace-greeley-slavery-union-restoration-union.html
  3. [3]Julia Martinez, “For Civil-War Scholars, a Settled Question That Will Never Die: What Caused the War?” Chronicle of Higher Education, October 31,
    2017, http://www.chronicle.com/article/For-Civil-War-Scholars-a/241627
  4. [4]Ta-Nehisi Coates, “What This Cruel War Was Over,” Atlantic, June 22, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/06/what-this-cruel-war-was-over/396482/; Tony Horwitz, “150 Years of Misunderstanding the Civil War,” Atlantic, June 19, 2013, http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/06/150-years-of-misunderstanding-the-civil-war/277022/; Alyssa Rosenberg, “From slavery to Ferguson, Ken Burns sees an unfinished Civil War,” Washington Post, September 8, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/act-four/wp/2015/09/08/from-slavery-to-ferguson-ken-burns-sees-an-unfinished-civil-war/

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.