Background & Purpose
List causes, what were both sides fighting for?, etc.
The North was fighting not to end slavery, but to preserve the Union. The South was fighting to preserve slavery, not to end the Union.
While many people these days might see the abolition of slavery as a noble cause worthy of sacrifice, many northerners were largely indifferent on the subject, coming to endorse it only in terms of a punishment for the rebel South.
Instead the chief motivating factor for the North was the concept of the country as an inviolable union. The citizens and their leaders prized the freedoms they had won in the American Revolution and saw themselves in sharp contrast to the oligarchical setups then in favor in Europe. Northerners viewed the South as the domain of moneyed aristocrats and feared that allowing the country to split would mean the death of the republic. So they felt they had to force the Confederate states to rejoin the United States.
While the modern American takes the stability of our country’s democracy for granted, citizenry at the middle of the 19th century understood that the country could easily lose what it had gained less than a century before.
At the same time, the South’s decision to leave the Union was almost entirely predicated on the question of slavery.
Thus, northerners were fighting to preserve the Union, southerners to preserve slavery.
John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry
The Dred Scott Decision