]Let me address your second point first, before moving on to your opening point. Indeed the North was hardly "high and mighty", and for so many of the reasons the "it-wasn't-slavery" crowd mention, the North as you put it wanted to change/abolish slavery. But you state "the only reason" which simply isn't true. The abolitionist movement, based on moral grounds, was growing politically. Northern culture was very heterogeneous so you had all kinds of political views from outright pro-slavery to industrial anti slavery to apathy to moral anti slavery and I'm sure more that I can't think of. So while much of the north was philosophically ass backward, a lot of it was also more progressive. One of the many reasons tension over slavery reached a breaking point was not where the North and South were with regards to liberty-philosophy, but where "everyone" (hyperbole, but still significant) knew the North and South were clearly going. My point here is that while yes, I am, in this argument, not putting my feet in the shoes of a 19th century white man, I am arguing from a point firmly rooted in available, widespread-enough information and political philosophy of the time, make my argument valid for both the 21st century and relevant to the 19th century. If this were a discussion on gay rights, for example, I would only be able to make a modern argument. Anyway, this brings me back to your first sentence. Yes and no. I see exactly what you mean and I addressed that earlier--the present-status of slaves at secession was almost exactly the same--they were still enslaved to the same degree. But as we remember with the Dredd Scott Case, even if a slave was legally property, he or she could still finagle ways to sue in a federal court under the right conditions. And white abolitionists could sue on slaves behalf--though I'm sure a myriad of laws made this extremely difficult on average. But you can't sue someone outside your own country without the right diplomatic circumstances, and secession cut the legal ties between the north and the south, making an unfriendly-but-employable court simply off limits. And that is taking away freedom, not just future, but present. I believe I just argued otherwise. I invite you to prove your point and will take it seriously.