Fun fact: portions of farm accounting to this day are directly a result of having slave labour. So the fact that the South’s economy was so heavily farm-based (with pl}antations essentially being factory farms, not the small, bucolic myth they like to present), and slaves were treated more as equipment… Slavery was undoubtedly the biggest thing.
It’s kind of like the resistance to regulations – especially those combatting big-money crimes. Slavery was tied into the Southern economy much the way money laundering is tied into our modern one: eliminate it, and the entire house of cards collapses. Knowing how precarious their position was, the 1% did exactly what they are doing today: convincing the useful idiots lower down that the big, bad, federal government was coming to take away their way of life. That the “Northern Elites” were trying to infringe on their precious freedoms. Those 1% knew exactly what they were defending, but they knew they couldn’t get Jimmy-Joe Average to give a crap and fight the war for them, if it was just “we want to keep and force the return of human beings”, the guy with 2 square acres of vegetables he has to work himself isn’t going to die for that.
Yes, the official documents say it’s about slavery, but your average soldier was as well-informed as your average Fox News viewer when it came to shit like that. So I can see how this myth of “States Rights” started… It was deliberate propaganda. There’s little difference between what the slaveowners did and the big-money players are doing today.
That’s one of the things that has me so scared. The parallels between what happened then and what’s happening now are huge. Support was growing for the idea that maybe owning humans wasn’t a good thing, and the big-money players were scared they’d have to revamp everything. Today, support is growing for the idea that massively polluting industries and financial shenanigans aren’t good things. Since so much money is tied up with these activities, the same message is being broadcast, only now it’s “Coastal Elites” coming to take away your freedom.
After all, if it worked before…