When the Civil War began, neither civil rights nor voting rights for blacks were stated as goals by the North. Although it was a huge goal of President Lincoln, the North looked over it. They became important afterward during the period of the Reconstruction. At first, though there was pressure to do so, not even the abolition of slavery was stated as a goal. While controversy over the morality of slavery could be contained, it was the issue of the expansion of slavery into the territories that made the conflict irrepressible. Slavery was at the root of economic, moral and political differences that led to control issues, states' rights and secession.
Although Slavery was the main cause of the war it also greatly increased the likelihood of secession which in turn made war probable, of the North's stated war aims, which at first addressed strategic military concerns as opposed to ultimate political and Constitutional ones. Hostilities began as an attempt, from the Northern perspective, to defend the nation after it was attacked at Fort Sumter. Lincoln's war goals evolved as the war progressed. Lincoln mentioned the need for national unity in his March 1861 inaugural address after seven states had already declared their secession. At first Lincoln stressed the Union as a war goal to unite the War Democrats, Border States and Republicans.... [continues]
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