Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When the Civil War began there was a decided difference in its perceived purpose North and South. The Confederacy desired its independence primarily so that it might preserve its way of life, most particularly the institution of slavery. Southerners were quite clear. The Yankees could let them go out of the Union without a fight, but they would indeed fight if pressed, and their purpose was to maintain slavery. The Southern constitution expressly protects the institution of slavery and the ownership of slaves. Though a minority of Southerners actually owned slaves, the Confederate enterprise, its economy, its society, and its military initiatives and strategy were all designed to preserve that peculiar institution. Asserting states’ rights was the South’s clarion intellectual formulation, but the region departed the Union because it clearly saw that with every passing year American society was become more and more hostile to the state’s rights in maintaining slavery. 

 

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