Recently, the Washington Post published a good short essay by James Loewen on Five myths about why the South seceded. Those myths are:
- The South seceded over states’ rights.
- Secession was about tariffs and taxes.
- Most white Southerners didn’t own slaves, so they wouldn’t secede for slavery.
- Abraham Lincoln went to war to end slavery.
- The South couldn’t have made it long as a slave society.
If you’d like to do some serious reading on the Civil War, I highly recommend James McPherson’s stellar history of the Civil War, Battle Cry of Freedom. And I’d recommend the stellar trilogy of historical fiction by Jeff and Michael Shaara: Gods and Generals, The Killer Angels, and Last Full Measure.