A respected scholar writing in the book I Wish I’d Been There seemed struck on the head with a hammer when discussing the cause of America’s Civil War, p. 170. He noted that Great Britain, Russia and Brazil all revoked slavery without the violence that cost America 620,000 casualties in 1861-1865. He didn’t suggest a reason our nation had to learn the hard way. He ascribed it all to God’s inscrutable decision.
Being only a student, not a scholar, this writer nevertheless believes we can understand why violence characterized the alteration from a half-slave to an all-free America. Before studying in detail the basic cause of the Civil War, and its spiritual implications, consider what DIDN’T.
Some say Lincoln’s election caused the Civil War. Nonsense. Had the South listened to what Lincoln said in the election campaign of 1860, and continued saying in his First Inaugural, he made it clear that the Federal government WOULD NOT interfere with slavery where it existed. It would only PREVENT its spread to new territories. Indeed, as has been well said, the War wouldn’t have started had it been to free the slaves, nor won by the North had it been waged Only to restore the Union.
Others say Eli Whitney’s cotton gin made the Civil War necessary. Nonsense. All it did was make slavery more necessary in order to harvest more COTTON. The evil of slavery diminished in the Southern mind as economic prosperity loomed with Yankee inventive genius. Not for the first or last time did MONEY rule MORALITY. Especially true when we remember that more abolition societies existed in the South than the North in the 18th century. Whitney’s invention increased MATERIAL PROFIT which, in Southern minds, decreased moral concerns over slavery. What they considered morally correct in the 18th century became in their minds economic suicide in the 19th. –End Part I-
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