Just as The Second World War is generally considered a "just war," the same thing can be said of the American Civil War (1891-1865). And, since that war still has a lingering aftermath and it's cause is still disputed even today, Americans should learn more about it.
Others obviously feel the same way. For example, Steven Spielberg’s movie, Lincoln, released on November 16, 2012, and based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography of Lincoln, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, was very timely. It not only coincided with the 150th anniversary of the issuance of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, but it helps in certain ways to educate viewers about the story behind the Civil War.
However, this article is comprehensive, covering not only the Civil War and its causes that go back to 1619. It also covers all its subsequent consequences following the war and all the way into the 1950s, '60s and '70s, and even to the present day.
This article also suggests how and why some of the wealthiest few in America still think their wealth entitles them to rule over people they regard as inferior (whether because of race or wealth or religion or ancestral nationality), because the roots of the current partisan political conflict go back to the aristocratic traditions established in the original British colonial settlement in Jamestown in the Virginia Territory in 1609.
This article suggests that the American Civil War was really a very long time in the making. In fact, the main issue causing the conflict (the spread and expansion of the institution of slavery) originated in 1619 when the first slaves were captured in Africa and brought to Jamestown to provide a free labor force for plantation owners.
That is the issue that eventually ignited the fires of the Civil War in 1861 right after Abraham Lincoln took office as president, because Southern racist aristocrats hated Lincoln. Why? Because he was a lawyer from Illinois who promoted the new Republican platform and consequently was elected as president to prevent the spread and Westward expansion of slavery.
However, the story of the development of Lincoln's cause and its full scope began long before he campaigned for the presidency. And this is an important issue because, unfortunately, the cause of the Civil War has been disputed since 1861, and there are some Americans today who still dispute the facts. Historical revisionism is rampant today. In fact, some people, for various different reasons, even claim that Abraham Lincoln did not really want to free the slaves.
That's why it is important to understand that Lincoln began his political career in 1849 as a Congressman, proposing a resolution to abolish slavery. However, his proposal was only for the District of Columbia, because at that point he believed that the Constitution did not allow the federal government to order the abolition of slavery in the states. He had not yet recognized that the Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution was written to preclude the kind of discriminatory state legislation that had once been permissible. (In fact, the Commerce Clause and the whole U.S. Constitution were written in 1787 because by then it had become necessary to replace the original Articles of Confederation which had proven inadequate.)
However, by 1858 when he campaigned as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, Lincoln's stance against slavery had strengthened, and his purpose was mainly to oppose the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed slavery to spread and expand Westward, and the Dred Scott case, which wound up ruling that African Americans were not and never could be citizens.
Both of those issues had inflamed the tremendous conflict over the spread and Westward expansion of slavery throughout the 1850s. And, Lincoln was not only against those things. He was also against the institution of slavery and did indeed want to free slaves --- as the full context of his whole political career reveals, and as you will see.
Wealthy plantation owners in the South hated Lincoln for that, because by that time they were not merely in the plantation business. They were in the slave business, and in the business of expanding their plantations, as well as the slave labor for them, Westward. And there was a lot at stake for them, because by 1860 a million tons of cotton were being produced every year in the South, and it was the labor of four million slaves that produced it.
Despite the facts, there were two strategies that Southern aristocrats used to justify themselves. One was for Southern Christian evangelists to try to justify the institution of slavery on biblical grounds, and the other was for Southern politicians to try to justify their opposition to President Lincoln on the grounds that the federal government had no right to interfere with the rights of the states to do as they pleased.
However, they simply ignored the main purpose of the Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution, and despite the facts and the evil of slavery, Southerners hated Lincoln. And because of the consequences of that hate, many Southerners ever since and even in modern times still hate him and what he stood for.
Public school textbooks don't say much about that these days. But those of us who came of age in the 1960s know that very well. It was painfully obvious in the 1960s when Martin Luther King, Jr. carried on Lincoln's work and led the Civil Rights movement, which caused terribly violent reactions by Southern racists who fought to suppress the movement.
Then in the early 1970s, in response to all the world wide criticism of all the oppressive and violent racist behavior, a defiant Southern racist element in the South initiated a Southern Pride movement, because they deeply resented and wanted to counteract the successes that all the leaders and supporters of the Civil Rights movement had made in the 1950s and '60s.
That Southern defiance was perhaps most demonstrated by Alabama Governor George Wallace and the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynrd (which wrote and performed the song Sweet Home Alabama in 1973 in response to Neil Young's song, Southern Man). The
Lynyrd Skynrd band proudly displayed the Confederate Flag as a symbol of the Southern Pride movement, and that movement has steadily grown since then in a variety of ways, as this article discusses.
This is an important discussion because the consequences and ramifications of the Civil War were felt not merely for the following century and particularly in the 1950s and '60s, and not merely in the 1970s. Its repercussions and ramifications are felt even today, even though some Americans don't notice it, and some would rather ignore it.
In fact, some Americans have been and are trying to distort and revise history in an effort to improve the image of the South by eliminating or lessening the role of slavery as a cause of the Civil War, and instead claiming it was solely about "state's rights." Some are even still trying to restore the Confederate Flag as a symbol of patriotism and independence, not as a symbol for Southern defiance and racism. They would rather forget that in the mid-1800s when the Confederate Flag was created, it was a time when Southern evangelical preachers were trying to defend the institution of slavery on the basis of biblical justification.
A recent example of that was demonstrated by right-wing “Tea Party” Republicans in a Southern state who displayed the confederate flag proudly and prominently in a parade, and there have been a number of other incidences involving that symbol of racism.
Most Americans are not aware of such actions, and many who are aware of them are not aware of the implications of such actions. And it has become increasingly obvious considering the attitude, words and behavior of many Southerners who have become television personalities and celebrities that many Americans in the South would simply like to either not know or forget about certain things in the past.
Many of them are fully invested in the Southern Pride movement, which is very much related to the Christian Dominionist movement of the "Religious Right," as well as the Reaganite Neo-Conservative movement -- all of which have grown and taken on the guise of religiosity and patriotism, which is very much like what happened in the 1860s.
In fact, right-wing Southern evangelists on the "religious right" beginning with Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, and continuing more recently with right-wing evangelists like David Barton, have even created a revisionist history of the past to justify their misguided theocratic agenda, which is much like the agenda of Theocrats in America between 1800 and 1865 and beyond.
Therefore, learning historic facts and the real lessons of history is more important now than it ever has been.
The Importance of Learning the Lessons of History
Our history, not only as individuals but as a people and as a nation, is a part of us. It is a part of what we are and become as individuals, and it is a part of what we are now as a people and what we will become as a people and as a nation and a world in the future.
We cannot, therefore, simply forget or deny mistakes or offenses of the past. We cannot just sweep them under the rug, nor can we refuse to face facts because it is unpleasant to do so.
We must learn the lessons of history in order to grow, evolve, progress, improve, and advance. And we must accept who we have been and what we are to move on and become what we should be.
Granted, of course, it is better to forgive offenses rather than hold grudges or cling to anger and hate, because forgiveness helps to heal and unite, while anger and hate are self-destructive and divisive. However, forgiving offenses is difficult when the offenders are unrepentant, defiantly proud, and still offensive.
Of course, in public nearly all Americans now agree that slavery and racism are wrong. However, the other factors that caused partisan political conflict between 1799 and 1865 still remain. That is why politicians in Washington, D.C. are so bitterly divided and in conflict, because there are some very wealthy people who still think they are entitled to rule over those they regard as inferior because of their religious beliefs or secular beliefs, or because of nationality. And those who believe they are entitle to rule are offensive.
Therefore, when offenders are unrepentant, defiantly proud and still offensive, we must stand up to them. In fact, they must be exposed and rebuked by righteous judgment in order for truth and justice to prevail.
That's what this is about. It's not about "dredging up things best forgotten." It's not about the people of certain states against the people of certain others states. It's not about politics. It's about right against wrong, and about truth prevailing over misguided, divisive beliefs.
Righteous judgment allows for forgiveness. However, because forgiveness is more easily granted to the repentant and contrite of spirit, and because today there is an epidemic of pride and denial on the part of offenders, we are consequently stymied by a barrier and a stumbling block of defiant anger and hate because of it, and we are plagued and divided by conflict. We can see it in our neighborhoods and cities, and in the halls of government.
Therefore, we need to realize that even though the conflicts we face are over a myriad of issues regarding government, religion, race, social justice and the environment, there are really some basic, underlying false belief systems causing most of the conflicts.
The Basic Conflicts In America
In America it could be said that there are two basic conflicts. One is over the specified powers of the federal government, and that conflict is not much different now than it was in 1787 when it made the U.S. Constitution necessary to specify what those powers should be.
There should be no conflict, though, because Founders like James Madison and George Washington wanted a unified nation with a federal government that addressed the nation's practical needs and quelled the rivalries and conflicts among the states.
Washington wrote, "Thirteen sovereign states pulling against each other, and all tugging at the federal head, will soon bring ruin to the whole." And before the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Madison told Washington that the states had to be made "subordinately useful."
However, modern right-wing “conservative” propaganda has in effect been a misleading attempt to essentially replace the Constitution and restore the Articles of Confederation, which had governed the new nation since 1777 but was replaced by the Constitution in 1787.
That’s what the “Tea Party” and other right-wing Republicans want -- Articles of Confederation -- despite their claims of fidelity to the Founders and Framers of the Constitution. For the Articles of Confederation had indeed made the states "sovereign" and "independent" and gave little importance to the federal government – which is why the U.S. Constitution became necessary and was established in 1787 in order to specify what the powers of the federal government relative to the states should be, to ensure compatibility and equity in interstate commerce, to preserve the integrity of the union, and to ensure domestic tranquility.
Now, the other main conflict is over religion, because since 1787 “conservative fundamentalist evangelical Christians” in the U.S. have misinterpreted the intent of the Founders and therefore misunderstood what religious freedom actually means.
For example, even back in 1800 they accused Thomas Jefferson of being "anti-Christian" because he insisted that there can be no religious freedom unless government respects all religions, and he clarified that the freedom of religion clause in the Constitution was intended to "build a wall of separation between church and state."
Right-wing fundamentalist Christian evangelists disagreed then and they still do. And ever since then they have acted as if freedom of religion means the right to impose their religious beliefs upon the whole nation.
That theocratic bent has often been problematic, especially since 1981 as their Dominionist theocratic political action has resulted in a rather widespread idea that a President of the U.S. must be a Christian, despite what Article 6 and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says about that.
Unfortunately, that conflict has impacted not only America, but the whole world, because the theocratic attitude of right-wing Christian preachers inevitably affected U.S. foreign policy as well. And even though their actions are theocratic and hypocritical, such actions follow a precedent set by the so-called "religious right" and "Moral Majority" founded in 1979 in support of Ronald Reagan for president.
It was nothing new, however. As mentioned, Theocrats have been fighting for political power and ignoring the people's right to religious freedom since 1800 when Thomas Jefferson and James Madison’s Democratic Republican Party was sharply opposed by right-wing zealots who claimed to be Christian clergy as they indulged in political grandstanding from behind their pulpits.
The same thing happened in the 1860s when good people who wanted to abolish slavery were sharply opposed by pro-slavery Antebellum Southern preachers who thumped their bibles and insisted that slavery was justified by the “Word of God” (the Christian Bible). And in the 1960s Southern preachers were still saying similar things, despite the truly Christian words of Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 1980 they changed their tune, putting the racial issue aside and focusing on making their movement "patriotic and religious" and about "returning God to America." And during the last 30 years, since right-wing Southern preachers Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson rose to political power with Ronald Reagan, the right-wing Southern preachers have risen again.
Today there are many of them on television and radio, preaching their message of “religious” bigotry and hegemonic nationalism, claiming they are justified by the “Word of God.” And that’s much like what Southern preachers did in 1787, 1861 and the 1960s.
Unfortunately, even today right-wing Southern preachers have ignored the lessons of history, and many of them are in fact in denial about it and have been trying to create “revisionist” history claiming that the Founding Fathers wanted the U.S.A. to be an exclusively Christian nation. But in fact, the very Quotes From the Founding Father Regarding Religion
prove them wrong.
As is discussed in the article about Why the “Religious Right” Is Wrong
, their error is very evident in their partisan political propaganda and rhetoric, evangelical religious proselytizing, hegemonic nationalism and other such efforts to claim superiority of their religious and political beliefs.
The Collusion of Corporations, Banks and the "Religious Right"
Most of them justify themselves with a “Gospel of Prosperity” they claim is Christian, so they think they are righteous. But they have turned Christianity up-side-down and they have been and still are wrong, and the proof is in the results. The terrible state of the nation and world is the proof.
The culture of greed and self-interest they have established enables them to profit at the expense of others by exploiting and taking advantage of them. But, during the last 30 years they were very successful in leading people to believe that it is perfectly alright for a wealthiest few to enjoy hundreds of millions of dollars per year in income, while the working poor cannot afford all the basic necessities of life, even though they work full time for a living.
Having wealth is not the problem, of course, because many wealthy people deserve their wealth due to their hard work, talent and skill. But greed, selfishness, and raking in inequitable and unjust profits and financial gain by exploiting and taking advantage of others are indeed a problem – one of the biggest problems in the world.
That greedy element is of course part of the culture of many nations in the world, which is why so many people around the world are fighting for freedom and justice. But, since that movement has successfully put down by those in power in most countries, and even in America, Americans need to understand the truth so we can progress and advance forward toward a better future for all people.
The Roots of the Culture of Greed and Self-Interest in America
It is very important now for Americans to understand that the roots of the greedy and selfish element of the American culture go all the way back to the original English colonists who established the original English American settlement in Jamestown in the Virginia Colony in 1607.
Jamestown was the first colonial settlement in America, named in honor of King James I of England, and it was established by the corporate capitalist Virginia Company of London. The colonists who settled there were wealthy English aristocrats and entrepreneurs, and they considered themselves Christians because they were, after all, following Christian traditions. In fact, a vicar of the theocratic Anglican Church of England performed the first known service of Christian communion in America in Jamestown in 1607.
Jamestown and the Virginia Colony became known for its tobacco plantations. But, the settlers of Jamestown were also known as the first to steal from and cause war with Native Americans who were trying to protect their property and land, and Jamestown is known as the first colony in America to enjoy the free labor of slaves captured in Africa and brought to Jamestown in 1619.
Of course, Dutch slave ship owners were as guilty for the establishment of slavery in America as the English were. But even so, the wealthy Jamestown aristocrats from England operated from an attitude and mind set based on the “Christian Doctrine of Discovery” which dated back to the Fifteenth Century in Europe.
The Doctrine of Discovery had declared the "divine right" of Christian monarchs to invade and occupy the lands of Native indigenous peoples all over the world. It dehumanized indigenous peoples as “pagans” and "heathens and uncivilized savages" with no rights to their land, or to their independence and freedom.
That doctrine was used to justify the English colonists of the Virginia Colony, but not all the English Americans accepted its validity. For example, when Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, his official policies regarding the treatment of Native American (Indians) were respectful, as was evident in his orders to Lewis and Clark when he commissioned their Corps of Discovery.
Yes, Jefferson was a Virginian who owned slaves. However, we have to realize that Jefferson was a man of his times, even though he was a highly educated Renaissance man and a revolutionary “Enlightenment” thinker. And at that time the idea of indentured servants and slaves was socially acceptable among most of the English Americans, even though some had begun to question and even denounce the institution of slavery.
Jefferson, however, was not like some slave owners who employed cruel overseers and lynched runaway slaves to make examples of them. And even though slaves in Virginia could not marry by state law, Jefferson respected slave marriages. They had large families at Monticello, and he treated them relatively and comparatively well. He allowed his slaves to become literate and educated. He gave them time off on Sundays, holidays and after-work hours. On Sundays, his slaves could travel to Charlottesville to the market to sell produce and goods to earn money, and they could visit with friends and family in the plantation community.
In other words, Jefferson was an example of the better and more educated part of Southern culture, and because of his great contribution and service it is easy to excuse his beliefs regarding gender and race. For in fact, during his time, Jefferson’s principles were the most democratic and humanitarian, which is why Abraham Lincoln later said: “The principles of Jefferson are the axioms of a free society.”
That is true for many reasons, but perhaps the basic reason was because Jefferson’s principles were founded on the idea that if there was to be an aristocracy, it should be based on virtue and education, and on hard work, and not simply on wealth, or on religion.
You see, Thomas Jefferson rejected the doctrines and dogma of that had established Theocratic Christian traditions that entitled and enabled the wealthiest few. He believed a man’s religious beliefs were between him and God. And, while he loved the core moral values taught by Jesus of Nazareth, he believed and demonstrated that in certain ways the “New Testament” canon of the Christian Church “corrupted” the message of Jesus. (That is why Jefferson edited the New Testament to produce the “Jefferson Bible,” which retained the true morality of the essential and core Christian message but removed “corruptions,” supernatural elements, exaggerations and fabrications that created the Christian myths.)
Jefferson’s liberating democratic principles were also what inspired him to establish the first public schools in America, because he realized that America could not be a Democratic Republic unless its citizens were literate, educated, and informed.
Jefferson even tried to institute free higher education at public expense as well. He failed in that, as is painfully evident even today, but he tried because he realized that without equal opportunity to higher education, it would become available only to the wealthiest few. (And that was certainly been the case in America until the 1950s, and has increasingly become the case again during the last 30 years.)
All these facts are important for Americans to learn or remember now, because the principles of Jefferson were not widespread in the South. While he was an advanced thinker, many in the South clung to old British traditions brought to Jamestown by wealthy English aristocrats. And part of the culture that was established in Jamestown reflected the most wrong, greedy, offensive, exploitive and divisive elements in England, but claimed to be patriotic, righteous and religious.
Since the greatest refuge of a scoundrel is patriotism and the greatest refuge of a hypocrites is religiosity, it is not surprising that was the case in Jamestown, and it is not surprising that is the case now in certain circles not only in the South, but in many different areas in America.
That element of the American culture is expressed by those who think they are superior, whether their sense of superiority is based on religion or race or original nationality or culture or political ideology. And that is why it has always been expressed by the greediest of the wealthiest few who resent anyone telling them how to operate their profit-making enterprises.
They do not want anyone telling them what they can and cannot do, and that is why they always argue over the power and rights of the wealthy landowners, and over the regulatory power of central government.
Why the U.S. Constitution Was Necessary
The argument over the power and rights of the wealthy landowners and over the regulatory power of central government became heated in 1787 as most Americans realized a U.S. Constitution was necessary. And that argument was also over the ability of the U.S. Federal Government to promote the general welfare and ensure equity and justice for all citizens of the nation.
See, most Americans don’t know it, but the Constitution was written and established six years after the American Revolution ended and after the U.S.A. had won its independence from England in 1781. Prior to the Constitution there were only the Articles of Confederation, which had enabled the South to became a major political force. And it insisted upon and enjoyed little federal interference in the affairs of the states.
That didn’t work for long, though, because the Articles of Confederation failed to maintain the political and economic viability and cohesiveness of the union. It became necessary to create the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia in 1787, assigning certain specified powers to the federal government to ensure compatibility and equity in interstate commerce, and in the laws of the land nation to preserve the integrity of the union.
Even so, because most of the wealth in America was held by Southern aristocratic plantation owners, Southern political leaders were able to protect their sectional interests during the Constitutional Convention of 1787. They were able to prevent the insertion of any explicit anti-slavery position in the Constitution, and they were even able to force the inclusion of the "fugitive slave clause." Consequently, “Antebellum Slavery” was perpetuated.
By the way, the Fugitive Slave Clause is the name given to a provision in Article Four of the United States Constitution that requires that slaves that escaped to another state be returned to the owner in the state from which they escaped. Southern leaders had insisted upon that in 1787, and it wasn’t until the South was defeated in the Civil War 1865 that the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution made slavery illegal, repealing the slave clause in Article Four.
Of course, it must be said that even though slavery had become a controversial issue even in 1787 when the Constitution was adopted, it was practiced in both the South and the North. It must also be said that not all Southerners were slave owners, that only an aristocratic elite wealthiest few were slave owners, and not all of them were of the sort that resorted to cruelty and even lynchings to control their slaves.
Why Americans Need to Realize that Jefferson and Lincoln Were Right
Since 1974, and particularly since 1980, as the South has risen once again (so to speak), the idea that Thomas Jefferson was “Anti-Christian” and that Abraham Lincoln was “Anti-Liberty” and "pro-slavery" has become more and more prevalent among Southerners and those of like mind.
Naturally, few of them would admit that in public. In fact, most people in the South believe that racism and anti-Union attitudes are all behind them. However, many in the South have actually not reconciled themselves with the “Union” of Abraham Lincoln, or with the ideals and principles of Thomas Jefferson. In fact, right-wing Southern politicians in Congress obviously reflect the Anti-Union and Anti-Government attitude (even though they want control of government), and many Southerners are simply in denial about the racist and rebellious past and present.
That is because there is a very strong and influential element in the South that has a very different idea of Christianity than Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln had. (In fact, most of the other Founding Fathers had similar feelings and beliefs about that, as is revealed in Quotes of the Founding Fathers Regarding Religion.)
Both Jefferson and Lincoln were very bright critical thinkers, and they did not take the Christian Bible literally. They did see the great value in the moral teachings of Jesus of Nazareth around the golden rule that is the center and core of Christianity, and they believed in Divine Providence. But, they were courageous enough to question and even criticize some of what is written in the Christian canon.
Both Jefferson and Lincoln believed in God, but both men were highly critical of the theocratic dogmatism of those who used religion for political purposes. For during Jefferson’s and Lincoln’s time they were both confronted by preachers who did that --- particularly Southern preachers who used their pulpits for political grandstanding.
Now, and during the last 30 years as the South has “risen” once again, we have witnessed Southern preachers and others across the country who think like them, who have once again been quoting what they call “The Word of God” (the Christian Bible) to justify themselves, just as their counterparts did in the 1860s, and it is time to analyze the reasons why.
The South initiated and fought the Civil War of 1861-1865 on religious grounds then too, because while most Christians in America had come to promote the abolition of slavery, the people of the South were more influenced by some Christian leaders in the South who insisted that slavery was a biblicly approved practice, sanctioned by God. And Southern plantation owners used that idea to justify the Westward expansion of their plantations and the slave labor that made them rich.
They justified themselves as being righteous Christians, as opposed to “misguided” people of the North who claimed to be Christians but did “not accept the Word of God” (the Christian Bible, which, after all, would seem to condone the practice of slavery). So they insisted that it was the right and the godly privilege of each state to maintain the practice of slavery if they so chose, especially since it was an "approved" practice according the their bible.
Southern clergy who defended the institution of slavery noted that in the Bible, Abraham had slaves; that the Ten Commandments orders that you “shall not covet your neighbor's servants;” that in the New Testament, Paul returned a runaway slave, Philemon, to his master; and that while slavery was widespread throughout the Roman world, Jesus never spoke out against it.
In May 1861 a significant group of Southern clergymen defected. In December they met in Georgia to adopt an official statement to justify the church’s secession from the Union as well as justify slavery. And the most influential clergyman who had drafted the statement then became a champion of the Confederacy and one of the strongest advocates of slavery in the South on the basis of biblical justification.
Their statement did declare that: “We have no right, as a church, to enjoin [slavery] as a duty or to condemn it as a sin.” It stated that their “position is impregnable unless it can be shown that slavery is a sin.” To answer that question, as a church, they declared that: “the only rule of judgment is the written word of God.”
They said: “Slavery has existed under every dispensation of the covenant of grace, in the Church of God.” “God sanctions [slavery] ... and Moses treats it as an institution to be regulated, not abolished; legitimated and not condemned.”
To get around the Golden Rule, they declared that: “no principle is clearer than that a case positively excepted cannot be included under a general rule.” And they even claimed that they were “acting as Christ and His apostles have acted before us.”
They were wrong, of course. And because the Southerners who started and fought the Civil War were wrong, they lost the war. They didn't really stop fighting, though. And one example of that was in fighting against the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude.
Despite Southern resistance, the Thirteenth Amendment it was adopted on December 6, 1865. It was the first of the three Reconstruction Amendments adopted after the American Civil War, and President Lincoln introduced and promoted it because he was concerned that the Emancipation Proclamation would be dismissed as a temporary war measure. It had been declared in 1863 by Lincoln’s war powers act to free the slaves in ten Confederate states then in rebellion and at war against the Union. However, the Emancipation Proclamation did not free any slaves in the border states, nor did it make slavery illegal, which is why the Thirteenth Amendment was necessary.
Lincoln became more successful in promoting the abolition of slavery because he received more help from other abolitionists, and that enabled him to finally prevail. (And that opened the door to the Fourteenth Amendment, which established civil rights in the states 1868, and the Fifteenth Amendment, which banned racial voting restrictions in 1870.)
Now, all this is important to consider because even though the South lost the Civil War, the “Aristocratic Southern Christian” culture persisted. Southerners found ways to establish and enforce strict racial Apartheid and other ways to institutionalize racism, and it eventually and inevitably led to another civil rights conflict in the 1960s.
Of course, the civil rights movement of the 1960s had really begun in the 1950s, after an extremely brave black African American woman, Rosa Parks, dared to sit in the front of a bus, rather than continue to sit in the back as Southern white racists had been ordering.
The reverend doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. had become a civil rights activist and he had led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president.
Dr. King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his great and inspired "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history. And that is what led to the enactment of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 which sought to establish equal civil rights for women and African Americans, a truly Christian thing to do.