Lootman wrote:mosschops wrote:Yes, because for the North and for Lincoln it was about preserving the Union, but for the South it was about maintaining slavery, as explicitly stated in the secession documents for Texas and Mississippi, South Carolina even went as far as stating that states rights should be suppressed in that New York shouldn’t be allowed to NOT have legalised slavery. The secession of the South due to the desire to maintain slavery was the catalyst for the war, Lincoln’s motivations were neither here nor there really, abolition was inevitable hence the formation of the Confederacy.
I can agree that slavery was the "catalyst" for the war or, if you prefer, the pretext.
But ultimately there was always going to be a massive conflict between the North and the South, and between the Federal government and the States. It blew up over slavery but could have blown up over other things. The fundamental issue was how much power should the Federal government have over rights that States had reserved for themselves.
One can look at America as a great social experiment, with the idea that you have a minimal central government with the vast majority of powers and rights delegated to the States. The Civil War can be seen as marking the beginning of the end of that experiment, and heralded the modern concept of a strong, powerful interventionist central government, much like European nations have.
Starting with the Civil War, then with the creation of income tax and the Federal Reserve, through the New Deal and Civil Rights, in just 100 years the US went from a bold experiment in decentralised power to just another European-style nation with a top heavy central government. A shame, I have always thought (which is not so say that I think the end of slavery was a shame).
The balance of power between the states and the central federal government had been pretty much sorted out 70 years before the start of the Civil War when the USA became a federation in 1789 with the ratification of the US constitution and in particular with the 10th amendment to that constitution adopted in 1791.