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The True Cause of the American Civil War

Hello Tedsters, I'm a student of an Advanced Placement United States History Class or APUSH in short. Recently for the class, we had to write an essay about the Civil War, and it's inevitability due to extremism and failure of leadership. We discussed how the cause for the Civil War was not merely slavery and definitely not only slavery. Our teacher also emphasized that we should "DIG DEEPER". One of the few examples she gave us was; the riots of John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry led to the South's nervousness and responded to Lincoln's victory in the Election of 1860 by establishing the Confederacy and proposing secession.
One of my arguments was that the South wanted economic freedom to continue their agricultural lives, practice of slavery and trade with Britain. I agreed with a comment stating this was a Second Revolutionary War, due to the South desiring to escape the economic restrictions from the North (such as the Tariffs), like how the colonies did from Britain during the American Revolutionary War.

Now when I look back to the regular history classes I've taken in the past years, I thought to myself, why isn't this taught in basic classes? Must a student be eligible to be in an AP class or wait till College just to realize history isn't that vague, and everything taught in the textbooks isn't exactly true but merely one of the many perspectives on a single issue? So I have two main questions:

Why isn't this concept of thinking taught in basic classes in middle school or high school? Is it because there's a fear that students can't learn or understand such concepts? Isn't it a bit problematic that while I can argue a couple of deep causes to the Civil War, a few of my friends believe and only believe the true cause is slavery?

My second question is:

What do you think the true cause of the Civil War was? If you’re going to say without an explanation, slavery and only slavery, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to dig deeper or at least explain why.


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    Jan 2 2013: Why isn't the truth taught in schools? Because those with an agenda do not want people to know truth.

    Did you know that states actually do have the right to secede? I know that you have learned about the Federalist Papers and how the Federalists are our founding fathers, but how much time was spent looking at the anti-federalists and their concerns - that turned out to be prescient. Do you even know that there are anti-federalist papers, and that the Federalist Papers were rejected, along with the Federalist's constitution?

    Only after an agreement was reached did the Federalists submit to the will of the people and the states. There had to be a Bill of Rights that turned the all-powerful government into a VERY limited government that existed as a treaty organization, not a central government.

    But the Federalists orchestrated a coup d'etat using the Supreme Court that never had the power to declare anything unconstitutional. But in McCulloch v. Maryland, it threw out the written constitution as the law of the land and replaced it with British Common Law. Now our constitution is "unwritten", just as all other countries that use British Common Law have unwritten constitutions.

    You hear much about our Constitution, but those who have actually read it know that it is meaningless - thanks to the coup d'etat that isn't taught in schools. (But for which plenty of documentary evidence exists).

    As to the Civil War - it was about State's Rights and the legitimacy of the "written" constitution. Lincoln, who didn't care about the issue of slavery, was a staunch enemy of the written constitution - as all documentary evidence verifies. He preferred the all-powerful central government that was imposed on America in the 1819 Coup d'etat.

    Had Lincoln removed troops from Ft. Sumpter, and allowed SC their legal right to secede, there would have been no war. Slavery would have ended when the tractor was invented. Government wouldn't be working so hard to keep U dumb.
    • Jan 8 2013: I was very interested to read about the 1819 Coup d'etat relating to America but I haven't had the time to full find an article about it. However, I'll eventually find the time to find it and read about the anti-federalist and Federalist papers, including the Coup d'eta in 1819.

      Lincoln definitely didn't want any secession which would help prove the inevitability of the civil war. Unless Lincoln had a sudden change in mind. Also, even with the inventions of better machinery and tools for agricultural jobs, would they still abandon slavery? Industrial business leaders were able to make huge profits even without slaves, especially in the south, by lowering the wages of their workers.
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        Jan 8 2013: You will not find a story about the coup. You have to read McCulloch v. Maryland and understand the role of the anti-federalist papers in defeating the ratification of the Constitution as proposed.

        The tractor was invented near the end of the 1800s. Because of it, tenant farmers (former slaves and poor whites) were forced off the land because a tractor could produce more income for the land-owner than tenant farmers could. One tractor could plow all the fields in very short order compared to a horse-drawn plow. There is a very interesting history of this at the "Museum of Rock & Soul" in Memphis. It showed how these evicted tenant farmers went up the Mississippi and joined in Memphis before moving on. The focus was the history of popular music, but it began with the mass migration north - caused by the tractor that forced them out of work.

        I don't doubt that industrial leaders made huge profits without slaves. Not all parts of the south were agrarian plantations. Slaves were most common in the fields and in the shipping ports - where their owners sent them to work, collecting their wages.

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