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Sep26-05, 03:28 PM
P: 1,511
Although I realise it is largely a matter of opinion rather than fact as to what was the primary reason behind the civil war it is a matter of record that when the war began abolition of slavery was not one of the stated goals. See highlight below.

Although most northern whites did not expect the Civil War to result in the elimination of slavery, black abolitionists offered their services to the Union cause with that end in mind. Northern policy regarding black enlistments was inconsistent, however, for President Abraham Lincoln and other leaders hoped to preserve the Union without abolishing slavery or ending discrimination in the North.
The idea I put forward that there was an element of 'punishment' behind the abolition of slavery is reinforced by the highlighted passage below

Blacks in Union Service
Few blacks were initially permitted in the northern military forces. As casualties mounted during 1862, however, northern military commanders sometimes recruited black soldiers without explicit authority, and Congress finally gave the president authority to use black troops. Lincoln also issued his Emancipation Declaration, freeing slaves held by southerners who remained in rebellion as of Jan. 1, 1863. This act had little immediate effect but did signal the change in Lincolnís racial attitudes that eventually led to a constitutional prohibition of slavery by the 13th Amendment. In fact the single biggest factor in setting the stage for the civil war appears to have been the war with Mexico and the ensuing political wrangling over the new territories won. The southern states feared the loss of it's natural majority in congress and the senate to the industrialised north who were at that time pushing their own brand of social structure and democracy. (which is proof of the saying 'those who don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it' )