Causes of the Civil War

Last week, I received an email from someone who liked one of my books, but who could not figure out why I would suggest that the “Civil War” wasn’t about slavery.

He wrote that he used to be a “neo-Confederate” like me, but after reading “all” of the primary documents, he changed his mind and now thinks that the War was about protecting the expansion of slavery, at least for the South.

He then wanted me to provide my best evidence that the War was not about slavery.

This made me laugh for several reasons, not the least of which being that he told me he wasn’t going to pay $500 for a class that was going to be providing “cherry-picked” information to fit my agenda all while asking me to give him some of the class free of charge because he challenged my views.

Let me tell you about my “cherry-picked” new class at McClanahan Academy, Causes of the Civil War.

I am going to give you the scoop on the several schools of thought on what caused the conflict, including those I don’t find particularly convincing. I’ll start with the “Lost Cause,” but we will discuss the “Slave Power” thesis along with the various branches of each position.

The interpretation of what caused the War is built from these two competing positions.

That includes the “blundering generation” and “neo-abolitionist” schools of thought along with the “reconciliationist” group of historians who sought to find complexity in the sectional conflict.

But most people don’t realize that all of these groups discuss about slavery. The “why slavery” question becomes the important one to ask.

Without giving too much away, I thought this would make for a good episode of the Brion McClanahan Show.

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