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Reader's View: Civil War was indeed about slavery

The July 11 letter, "Confederate flag being removed by revisionists," expressed amazement that "uninformed" white people do not understand that the the Civil War wasn't about slavery but was really about, as the writer said he was taught in schoo...

The July 11 letter, “Confederate flag being removed by revisionists,” expressed amazement that “uninformed” white people do not understand that the the Civil War wasn’t about slavery but was really about, as the writer said he was taught in school, “states’ rights vs. unity.”
American history, as taught in high school, is much simplified and sanitized. No portion is covered to any depth, and topics that might be considered controversial and/or uncomfortable - such as the existence of human slavery in this self-proclaimed land of the free - while not actually ignored are very lightly glossed over.
I’ve had a lifelong interest in history in general, with a particular interest in the American Civil War. My learning didn’t stop with what was taught in high school but has been ongoing throughout the 50 years since through extensive reading and study.
Therefore, I am not “uninformed,” and I must contend slavery was the primary causal factor for the war. States’ rights was an issue, but the primary right Southern leaders were concerned with protecting was slaveholding.
Secession from the Union by Southern states started within 45 days of President Abraham Lincoln’s election, which was seen by Southern leaders as an omen of a growing ascendency of the abolitionist movement and thus a threat to the existence of slavery.
I respect the feelings of those whose ancestors served on the Confederate side and see the battle flag as a symbol of their family’s history. But I also respect the rightful feelings of those to whom that same flag is a symbol of a cause that was, after all, dedicated to the continued enslavement of their ancestors.
Private display is one thing, but state-sponsored public display of the Confederate flag by a government entity that is supposed to represent, and be considerate of, all its citizens is quite another.
Blaine E. Pearson
Carlton

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