The war wasn't about slavery. It was about the 'union'. The north had suffered many setbacks.
After 17 months of war things were not going well for the North, especially in its closely watched Eastern Theater. In the five great battles fought there from July 1861 through September 17, 1862, the changing cast of Union generals failed to win a single victory. The Confederate army won three: First Bull Run (or First Manassas) on July 21,1861; Seven Days six major battles fought from June 25-July 1, 1862 during the Union army's Peninsular Campaign that, in sum, amounted to a strategic Confederate victory when McClellan withdrew his army from the peninsula; and Second Bull Run (or Second Manassas) on August 29-30, 1862. Two battles were indecisive: Seven Pines (or Fair Oaks) on May 31-June 1, 1862, and Antietam (or Sharpsburg) on September 17, 1862. In the West, Grant took Fort Donelson on February 14, 1862 and captured 14,000 Confederate soldiers. But then he was caught by surprise in the battle of Shiloh (or Pittsburg Landing) on April 6-7, 1862 and lost 13,000 out of a total of 51,000 men that fought in this two-day battle. Sickened by the carnage, people in the North did not appreciate at the time that this battle was a strategic victory for the North. Then came Antietam on September 17, the bloodiest day in the entire war; the Union army lost more than 12,000 of its 60,000 troops engaged in the battle.
- Five days after the Battle of Antietam, on September 22, 1862, Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation.
- The Emancipation Proclamation was a "war measure," as Lincoln put it. Foreign correspondents covering the war recognized it as a brilliant propaganda coup. Emancipation would take place only in rebel states not under Union control, their state sovereignty in the matter of slavery arguably forfeited as a result of their having seceded from the Union. The president could not abolish slavery; if not done at the state level, abolition would require a constitutional amendment. Slaveholders and their slaves in Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, Tennessee, and parts of Virginia and Louisiana occupied by Union troops were exempt from the edict. Slaves in the Confederacy would be "forever free" on January 1, 1863 one hundred days after the Proclamation was issued but only if a state remained in "rebellion" after that date. Rebel states that rejoined the Union and sent elected representatives to Congress before January 1, 1863 could keep their slaves. Such states would no longer be considered in rebellion and so their sovereignty regarding the peculiar institution would be restored. As the London Spectator put it, in its October 11, 1862 issue: "The principle [of the Proclamation] is not that a human being cannot justly own another, but that he cannot own him unless he is loyal to the United States."
And so, using the slavery issue as a war tool, the north prevailed. But it didn't stop there. After winning the war in 1865, it occupied the south until 1877. During this time, govt was filled w northerners and blacks, while native southerners were marginalised w repressive laws. One law, for instance, required a southern white woman to stand aside for a black man, or he could have his way w her.
In reaction to this repression, the kkk was born.
Simon does have a point about how racism is based in history.