I've read several articles over the last few weeks that the Civil War was not about slavery but about states' rights. It was about states' rights: the right to keep slaves.
The slavery issue was not the only issue, but it was the primary cause of the war. Southern states depended on slavery to support their economy. Southerners used slave labor to produce crops, especially cotton.
You don't need a degree in economics to know that labor is the number one expense of most industries. Farmers today use high-tech machinery to plant and harvest their crops. Back then, farmers used free slave labor. Southern states figured that without the free labor, their economy would be devastated. And the rest is history.
George Tate, Augusta