Was the Civil War about States rights or Slavery?

I do believe the whole Confederate Flag take-it-down fad is dying down. I think it's safe to say a parent would rather see a confederate flag on a truck than one of those white trash metal testicle trinkets on a trailer hitch.

The police today are militarized, use 20 ton mine-resistant vehicles for the purpose of "Terrorism and Anti-Narcotic units", fire tear gas indicriminately into a crowd that allows unlawful behavior (like looting/destruction of local businesses), and the police appear to resemble an occupying force into areas where there's advocation of black lives mattering "hashtag".

Place yourself in the shoes of a United States resident of the South in 1860. The industrialized North is moving an occupying force towards your newly formed agrarian Confederacy. You are a non-slave owning resident just like the MAJORITY of Southerners and want to protect your loved ones as well as your comrades.

Does the Confederate flage soley resemble the fight for Slavery or States Rights?


  • The Confederate Flag resembles the fight for States Rights
    Vote A
  • The Confederate Flag resembles the fight for Slavery
    Vote B
Select age and gender to cast your vote:
I'm a GirlI'm a Guy
"History has the relation to truth that theology has to religion -- i. e., none to speak of." - Lazarus Long
YES, State's Rights, my compatriots right here.


Most Helpful Girl

  • The confederacy wanted to be their own country. Why?
    Because the north wanted to abolish slavery. By that point, slavery was a very racist practice cupped with the fact that slavery was their only source of income.

    • The north didn't want to abolish slavery, it wasn't even being discussed until late in the war. It abolished slavery afterwards because they had drafted slaves to fight and now had thousands of armed veterans around who were black and had no interest in becoming slaves again.

Most Helpful Guy

  • Slavery wasn't an important policy on either side early in the war (though it was a hot topic all over America). The north had as many dedicated slave owners as the south (though admitedly slave labour was comparitivly a much lesser part of the economy). They primarily started to shift towards abolishion because they had started drafting large numbers of southern slaves (and northern run aways) and had promissed many of them freedom in return for fighting. Late in the war it became obvious that these armed veterens were not going to cassually lay down arms and walk away while their families were still in chains.
    Meanwhile many leaders in the south were firmly against slavery, and the confederacy even saught backing from the British government, pledging to abolish slavery once the war was complete, as part of their bid for the support. Unfortunatly for them Britain was busy at the time, and not sure it wanted another land war in America, so traded a limited number of arms but refused troops.


Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 1

  • yes, Slavery was main reason for the civil war, the south wanted to preserve that right and was even willing to go to war to do it, many will claim it were for other reason because slavery is looked down upon now

    Source: video-dfw1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/.../..._1700200752_n.mp4


What Guys Said 6

  • You don't have to be American (and Im not) to realise that the war was not just about slavery. Robert E. Lee was against slavery himself and freed the slaves of his own family in 1862 way before Lincoln had even issued the emancipation proclamation.
    The Southerners were being invaded, so they took up arms.
    What was done to the blacks in the south pales in comparison to what racial hatred was brought against the Native Americans. In essence the American flag is a symbol of hatred and genocide against the Native Americans... should we ban it next?

  • I am trying to understand what your position is. In the question you state that the North invaded the newly formed agrarian Confederacy and non-slave owning residents just wanted to protect their families and their comrades. In a comment you definitely come across as against the South's cause. So I don't know what you are trying to prove. Plus in the middle of the question you throw in modern day police actions. Can't follow that at all.

    @JSmith925 has an excellent opinion, complete with a great reference to explain a lot. And that reference is clear in naming anti-slavery sentiment as the reason for the intended cessation of Georgia from the union.

    Even with the states writing their reasons for their withdrawal and the top one being the slavery issue, there are many on here insisting that was not the case. There are just a lot of people who refuse to admit what has been proven.

    • Thanks for the support, Red_ Arrow. As you pointed out, many people simply refuse acknowledged the truth and continue to obfuscate the facts with irrelevant arguments. I did not respond again to the Asker because he is clearly one of them.

      If you follow the link I provided, you will find that also includes the declaration of causes for Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Their arguments all include direct references to slavery as a primary complaint. Taken together, I think they are representative of the South in general.

    • Show All
    • "Slave" is an excessive term. If the people do not live in a legitimate Republic guaranteed in their country's archive, harmony is diminished. Scientifically illiterate laws on drug prohibition, disregarding the practices of America's founders, taking away avenues of the Free Market, Sustainability: these are bigger issues than colors of the skin, America will grow up if it overcomes extractive institutions that the federal unit enacts. We saw in our ancestors of Rome, the transition to an empire, making socialism, handing out bread an integral part of the community, and being lenient on criminal immigrants, border security.

      Frederick Douglass certainly had an appreciation for free soil, though.

    • "Slave" is a simple and exact term. It describes the people who were "owned", bought and sold, bred, beaten, and often killed, and in our country simply because of their color. I imagine they would have laughed at the thought of having to pay taxes, or having laws that forbade them blowing their minds out on drugs of choice, or having restrictions on free trade, even being brought up in a discussion of slavery. NO COMPARISON!

  • The north was in the right. The south was in the wrong. Yes, the north did fight mainly to preserve the union, but the south definitely fought to preserve slavery.

    The numbers of innocent people on the wrong side of a war are always over-estimated. What would a genuinely innocent southerner have done? He would have surrendered immediately, perhaps fled into the north.

    States don't have rights. Individuals have rights.

  • The civil war was clearly fought by the South to preserve slavery because it was tradition and a lynchpin to their labor intensive agrarian lifestyle.

    The Declaration of Causes of Seceding States references slavery numerous times and calls for non-slave states to uphold constitutional support for maintaining humans as property. At the time of its writing, the constitution’s concessions to slavery were necessary to gain the support of southern states, most notably the “three-fifths” and “fugitive slave” clauses.

    Interestingly, the North won the war because of superior mechanization, particularly railroads. This strong industrial base also contributed greatly to our global stature today. If the South had prevailed, it is unlikely that we would have become a world leader.


    • The Northern diplomats were urging Lincoln to not free the slaves. More than anything both them and Lincoln wanted the Union to stay together. He even gave the South a deadline of more than three months before signing in the Emancipation Proclamation.

      I guarantee if we let the South have their Confederacy, the exodus of slaves would have continued and it would not have lasted, when they ended up realizing they would have to do their own work. Thomas Jefferson wept for our country being hypocrites at saying it was under God and men were created equal but we subjugated a sect of humanity.

      If the South wanted their slaves so much, why didn't they take Lincoln up on his offer and be apart of the Union instead of separating to make their destiny apart from the North?

  • I would say a mixture of both they are intermingled in the minds of a lot of people

  • It was about the economic direction of America...

    Industry of the north V. S the slave institution of the south

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