If you think the Civil War was fought to end slavery, you’ve been duped.
In fact, as distinguished military historian Samuel Mitcham argues in his provocative new book, It Wasn’t About Slavery, no political party advocated freeing the slaves in the presidential election of 1860. The Republican Party platform opposed the expansion of slavery to the western states, but it did not embrace abolition.
The real cause of the war was a dispute over money and self-determination.
Before the Civil War, the South financed most of the federal government—because the federal government was funded by tariffs, which were paid disproportionately by the agricultural South that imported manufactured goods.
Yet, most federal government spending and subsidies benefited the North. The South wanted a more limited federal government and lower tariffs—the ideals of Thomas Jefferson—and when the South could not get that, it opted for independence.
Lincoln was unprepared when the Southern states seceded, and force was the only way to bring them—and their tariff money—back. That was the real cause of the war.
A well-documented and compelling read by a master historian, It Wasn’t About Slavery will change the way you think about Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the cause and legacy of America’s momentous Civil War.
About the Author
SAMUEL W. MITCHAM JR. is a military historian who has written extensively on the Civil War South, including his book It Wasn’t About Slavery. A U.S. Army helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War and a graduate of the Command and General Staff College, he remained active in the reserves, qualifying through the rank of major general. A former visiting professor at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, he has appeared on the History Channel, CBS, NPR, and the BBC. He lives with his family in Monroe, Louisiana.
“A great read! Very informative, well written, and superbly researched. It brings out the truth behind the Civil War for those who can handle it. I recommend it highly.” — —Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty patriarch and author of The Theft of America’s Soul
“Dr. Samuel Mitcham has nailed down this myth for all times for those who have the honesty to hear the evidence. If it was about one thing, the war was about money, the intent of the ruling elements of the North to keep their profitable control of Southern land and people.” — —Dr. Clyde Wilson, professor emeritus, University of South Carolina
“The minions of political correctness have been given a near death blow by Dr. Mitcham’s latest book, It Wasn’t About Slavery. Mitcham charges into the fray with a cartridge box full of truth and skillfully destroys the central element of the neo-Marxist assault upon the South….Mitcham’s book, It Wasn’t About Slavery, is more of a defense of traditional American heroes and values than a defense of the South.” — —Walter Donald Kennedy, author of The South Was Right
“Mitcham’s research is eye-opening for the modern-day student of history who has too often been taught to believe that the evil of slavery only existed in the South, and that it was solely the North’s attempt to abolish slavery that prompted the South to war.” — —Professor Bridget Smith, author of Where Elephants Fought
“Samuel Mitcham has provided a great service to American history. The current attempt to reduce the causes of a complex war to slavery and only slavery is akin to middle school logic. No other historical event is given such a sophomoric treatment. Mitcham destroys this simplistic narrative and properly ‘contextualizes’ the most important event in our collective historical consciousness.”
— —Dr. Brion McClanahan, author of Nine Presidents Who Screwed Up and The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution
“When tyranny rules, truth becomes heresy. Sandy Mitcham’s new book, It Wasn’t About Slavery, will forever cast the author as villain and politically incorrect heretic because he dares to tell the truth—it wasn’t about slavery.” — —James Ronald Kennedy, author of Punished with Poverty: The Suffering South and ten other books