Seems that in your declaration of succession, you kinda want to throw out what your causes are. They mentioned slavery in the second sentence. In fact, in all four of the declerations of causes i found (http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/reasons.html
) slavery is mentioned in the first few sentences of each, as the first cause.
That site is one of the examples of cherry-picked quotations. Those same four declarations of secession have been brought up a couple of times in this thread. Never mind that those four declarations are out of eleven states. You are outright incorrect.
To choose South Carolina (the originator the movement), the word "slave" and any of its derivatives are used exactly once in the first 15 paragraphs, a reference to South Carolina having not seceded in 1852 merely because the other slaveholding states asked that she not. The majority of uses of the word slave and its derivatives are to delineate the actions of slaveholding and nonslaveholding states.
South Carolina's first cause for secession was that they had a moral right to do so under the reasoning of the Declaration of Independence, and a legal right to under the Constitution without regard for reason. The second cause was a failure of the "nonslaveholding" state to abide by Article 4 of the Constitution and various Acts of Congress.
The third cause is that nonslaveholding states encourage people to kill South Carolina's citizens within her borders and refuse to extradite the murderers.
Another example: Texas lists as it's first cause that its citizens were being denied access to settle federal lands. Including but not limited to a failure of federal officials to protects Texas's citizens in federal territories.
The second cause is that the federal government is inadequately defending Texas from foreign invaders. Namely Mexicans and Indians crossing the border.
The third cause is that non-slave-holding states refuse to obey the Constitution, similar to South Carolina's complaint.
In other words, whatever the motivation of the non-slaveholding states, secession was motivated by a failure of the federal government as a compact.
But to reiterate my point, as the quotation game can go on forever, and I have no desire to (no one is going to deny racists and slave-holders were a big part of the Confederacy!), I appeal instead to what others at the time thought, as demonstrated by their actions.
Southerners thought the war was about getting out of a deal where they were getting screwed. Yes, the Northern states were violating the Constitution because they hated slavery, but many of the Southern state's grievances are actually legit. The federal government should protect the nations borders. Federal law should be respected. Extradition for murders should be allowed.
Northerners thought the war was about preserving the Union. As I stated only two members of Lincoln's own cabinet wanted to pass the Emancipation Proclamation (passed as executive order because it would not pass Congress).
It was passed in large part as a PR stunt, to prevent Britain and France from siding with the Confederacy, by making the war about slavery (both were vehemently anti-slavery). Why did the point need to get made if the Confederacy had already announced the war was about slavery?
The Great Hippo wrote:The American Civil War was an inevitable result of tensions between two groups of people, but if it weren't for Lincoln it would never have happened? Do you know what 'inevitable' means?
Yes. I was blurring various levels of causes. An armed conflict to between several states and the federal government to establish the supremacy of the federal government was inevitable. An armed conflict to resolve the issue of slavery was not. The Northern states pushed the anti-slavery issue through various unconstitutional means, culminating in Lincoln being elected and promising to step it up a notch. This lead to war.
The Great Hippo wrote:
Regardless: Do you think that when Preston Brooks beat the shit
out of Sumner on the Senate floor that he did it over some breech of Senate protocol?
Of course not. Sumner talked shit about Brooks's mama. Well, not his mama, I'm not sure of the relationship (father-in-law?). But it was a personal insult, and Brooks had dueled people over those before. Apparently his friend convinced him that Sumner wasn't even worth dueling; the same friend who held used a gun to ensure no interference in the beating.
The Great Hippo wrote:I'll ask you the same question I ask of everyone else who claims that slavery was not the direct and primary cause: If slavery didn't exist, how the fuck would we have ended up in a war?
A couple of easy options: The advent of WWI, with the federal government wanting to get involved on the British side and various Northern and Midwestern states favoring neutrality or even the Germans. TR busting trust and taking land for the federal government. Almost certainly women's suffrage was controversial.
But I hold it would have been the *currently unpopular* giant federal power debacle: Prohibition.
The OP wanted to know, among other things, what non-racist reason there could be to cause non-slaveholding white Southerners, past and present, to identify with the Confederate cause and Southern culture.
The major chain of causes seems indisputable. War was triggered by secession. Secession was directly triggered by Lincoln's election and his instance slavery be wiped out, and his planned expansion of unconstitutional anti-slavery measures (and constitutional anti-South but unrelated-to-slavery measures designed to put pressure on those states). Secession was indirectly triggered by the South's perception that the Northern states were shirking their obligations under the federal government, fermenting rebellion in the Southern states, using the federal government to put unrelated-to-slavery pressure on the South, and, in Texas's case, refusing to defend against foreign invaders.
Many Southerners believe(d) the South was treated unfairly. Hence, the identification with the Confederate cause absent identification with slavery.