Duh! Of course it was about slavery! Didn't anyone bother to read Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address? Charles Oliver at Reason Magazine wrote an article with greater detail than I can write here explaining that the Civil War was about slavery.
Unfortunately, people never let the obvious stand in the way of their politics. So subsequently, we have a strange alliance of political bedfellows revising history and telling us that the Civil War was not really about slavery.
And strangely enough, my little remark about the Civil War and slavery in my post about Bush's inaugural address inspired several readers with their own blogs to post about the Civil War and slavery: some links to posts by Old Blind Dog, Stephen VanDyke aka Hammer of Truth and dadahead (by the way, Dadaism and modern art are leftist movements based on the left's hatred of achievement and Western culture). Also, "ranger" at ess.r.squared sent me an email about the topic.
It's easy enough to explain why leftists want to revise history. I previously explained in my post the liberal mind that leftists hate America. Leftists want to believe that America is an evil country. Slavery, of course, was evil. But if we fought a Civil War to end slavery, and hundreds of thousands died fighting that war, this eradicates any collective guilt we might otherwise have. Leftists would rather believe that the Civil War was a fight about tariffs, turning a noble cause into a greedy war about nothing but money and allowing leftists to wallow in guilt about being American.
Paleo-conservative southerners also want to revise Civil War history. These types want to revel in the supposed "glory" of the Old South, and there's nothing glorious about a Confederacy that existed for nothing except slavery. So they made up the story that the South was about noble things like states' rights. Yet, in fact, the Confederacy was about nothing but slavery. The "states' rights" argument is bogus. The only "right" that was at issue was the "right" to own slaves, which is a right that no state should be allowed to have.
The South didn't have any problem with its rights being trampled. In fact, the opposite was true. The South had disproportionate political power on account of the less populated southern states having equal representation in the Senate, and also on account of its slaves counting for three-fifths of a person for purposes of federal representation when they shouldn't have counted at all because they were not citizens and couldn't vote.
The real history of the Civil War is that people in the North got fed up with allowing the barbaric practice of slavery to continue. The Republican Party was formed to be an anti-slavery party. The South seceded because with the election of Republican Abraham Lincoln to the presidency, they saw that slave states would no longer be admitted to the Union and eventually there would be overwhelming political support to abolish the practice entirely.
Much of the "evidence" that the Civil War was not about slavery is based on out of context statements by Lincoln and other anti-slavery advocates that might seem "racist" by today's standards. But that has nothing to do with the fact that there was unanimous agreement that using human beings for slave labor was an immoral and barbaric practice that needed to be stopped.