Schweitzer is mostly right but wrong neverthele­ss. Yes, states’ rights was the immediate cause of the Civil War. But, an individual state’s right to do what? To have slavery. Eleven states didn’t secede from the Union between November 1860 and April 1861 because of tariffs, taxes or Indian removal policy.

Your article presuppose­s that in slavery’s absence, something else would’ve caused the Civil War. That assumption doesn’t help us very much, because it ignores the central issues of slavery and race, and how those issues played a central economic role in building the US prior to 1861. Not to mention the major factor in creating a unifying effect for the nation in the connection­s between freedom and race, at least before the 1850s.

The other issue that’s important here is that many of the themes of the Civil War remain unresolved­. Southern Whites defending a flag and a “way of life” that depended on the subjugatio­n of millions of people during slavery and after the Civil War — you know, the Jim Crow era (1877-1970­-ish). When folks defending the Stars and Bars use the term “way of life,” they never describe it in any detail, as if we know what this means, as if we’re only talking about barbeques and blue-grass bands. The day that Confederat­e apologists get real about slavery and segregatio­n is the day that we can finally stop debating about the causes of the Civil War and the sanctity of the blood-stai­n Confederat­e flag.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost