that the Gulf States seceded purely because they were afraid if they stayed in the Union, slavery might one day be ended through a Constitutional amendment. So what? Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia all voted to stay in the Union until Lincoln demanded they help him force the Gulf Stares back into the Union. So, concern over the future of slavery certainly played a role in causing the Deep South states to want to break away because of the dependence of their agricultural economy on slavery, but, it didn't have anything to do with the Upper South states seceding.
The attitude of most Northerners before many Southerners started making threats if the North tried to stop them and the subsequent firing on Fort Sumter was to let them go in peace. The slave owner Grant claimed that if he thought the war was about slavery, he would turn his sword over to the enemy and switch sides. Lincoln claimed if he could preserve the Union without freeing a single slave, he would do so.
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