stumbling through life with one eye shut
It's such a double-edged sword, the Civil War is: because on the one hand, had we simply let the South secede, then we would have abandoned hundreds of thousands (if not millions?) of black slaves; but on the other hand, by insisting on a single Union, we were like the potential-divorcee who insisted to her abusive and much-hated husband, "No, we really should stay married and try to work out our differences."Y'know what I mean? Of course it's great to have fought to abolish slavery, but you can only abolish actions (like slavery) -- you can't abolish beliefs (like racism). You can do your best to fight beliefs, but you can never, ever fully root them out nor (in modern America) can you try people in court for simply holding them. In fact? Charging somebody with the crime of holding an unpopular belief is as unAmerican as it comes! *sigh* What a Catch-22.
And I'd like to say in my defense (before anyone replies otherwise),I strongly believe that the war was not primarily fought for slavery but rather for Federalism (vs. the Southern interpretation of a Confederacy of mostly-autonomous states). The war was secondarily (or superficially, take your pick) fought over slavery. Slavery may have been the spark, but the real issue was about Federal authority and whether Americans enjoyed a right to secession or not. Lincoln was 100x more interested in the Federal fight than in the slavery issue.
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