American Myth-Making

American children learn in school that President Lincoln wanted to free the slaves in the south. The south did not want to let their slaves go, so they seceded. Then the North and South had a war to decide if slaves should be free. The truth is more puzzling. Lincoln was in favour of slavery in the South. However, he opposed it in the North and West. When Lincoln was elected, the southern states seceded, angry that slavery was being blocked from expanding into the west. It was an emotional reaction, indignant at being told what to do by Yankees rather than a decision motivated by economics. In modern times, if a group want to leave a union, we let them. Back then, Lincoln felt obligated to wage war to preserve the union.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)