If I asked what the cause of the American Civil War was, would your first answer be slavery? Would it surprise you to know that slavery was only one grievance the South had with the Lincoln administration?
Up until the first bullet was fired on Fort Sumter, Abraham Lincoln had been leading a type of economic aggression to force the South into initiating the official version of the conflict. When Lincoln ran for president, his platform was based on Henry Clay-inspired mercantilism where he promised to maintain a high protective tariff that would serve Northern industrial interests while impoverishing the South’s still predominantly agrarian economy. This, of course, angered the South much like it did when John Quincy Adams imposed the same type of tariff in 1828 which lead to the Nullification Crisis. With the Morrill Tariff, which increased the tax on dutiable imports by about 70%, put in place by President Buchanan two days before he left office, the South stood ready to secede. After Lincoln’s inauguration, he began to maneuver the seceding South into firing the first shot by breaking a previously established agreement to not attempt to restock Fort Sumter. He secretly sent troops the Fort which escalated into what turned out to be the bloodiest war in American history. Lincoln’s close friend and confidante Senator Orville H. Browning would go on to write in his diary:
He told me that the very first thing placed in his hands after his inauguration was a letter from Major Anderson announcing the impossibility of defending or relieving Sumter. That he called the cabinet together and consulted General Scott—that Scott concurred with Anderson, and the cabinet, with the exception of PM General Blair were for evacuating the Fort and all the troubles and anxieties of his life had not equalled (sic) those which intervened between this time and the fall of Sumter. He himself conceived the idea, and proposed sending supplies, without an attempt to reinforce giving notice of the fact to Governor Pickens of S.C. The plan succeed. They attacked Sumter—it fell, and thus, did more service than it otherwise could.
Contrary to popular belief, the Civil War was not a fight over slavery but a fight over whether the South was allowed to secede from the union. Lincoln thought war would rally the North behind his special-interest driven agenda. The South sent numerous commissioners to Washington in the hopes of finding a peaceful solution to secession. Lincoln ignored all of them. As he stated in a letter addressed to Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune:
My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to 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 the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.
So why is this version of the Civil War not taught in public schools?
It’s a simple answer when you consider the driving force of statism.....