As Thomas DiLorenzo calls it, "Lincoln’s Legacy of Tyranny ... and the antidote of capitalism and the civil society."
History provides our best guide to the future, so it's imperative we keep our historical facts correct. Please watch the following video by Judge Andrew Napolitano about President Abraham Lincoln. Know your history.
The South wanted to secede because of the Northern Tariff, which was imposed to subsidize Northern industry. The effect of the tariff was to force the South to pay higher costs for manufactured goods, disproportionately tax them to support the federal government, and injure their trading relations with other parts of the world. The battle over the tariff began in 1828, long before Lincoln entered the scene.
So, after 30 years of being taxed unfairly (a long train of abuse), 13 Southern states chose in 1860-61, to peacefully secede from the Union and go their own way. Lincoln however, pledged to "collect the duties and imposts." The issue of slavery didn't enter the picture until long into the war.
In April 1861, with Congress out of session, President Lincoln ordered the blockade of Southern ports (an act of war) and suspended habeas corpus in the South. In September 1862, Lincoln suspended habeas corpus in the North as well, putting down resistance to his military draft. Lincoln imprisoned more than 14,000 civilians without due process, and ordered the shut down of more than 300 newspapers. His Secretary of State William Seward boasted*:
I can touch a bell . . . and order the imprisonment of a citizen of New York, and no power on earth, except that of the President of the United States can release [him]. Can the Queen of England do as much?
[T]he War between the States was not fought to end slavery; Even if it were, a natural question arises: Why was a costly war fought to end it? African slavery existed in many parts of the Western world, but it did not take warfare to end it. Dozens of countries, including the territorial possessions of the British, French, Portuguese, and Spanish, ended slavery peacefully during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Countries such as Venezuela and Colombia experienced conflict because slave emancipation was simply a ruse for revolutionaries who were seeking state power and were not motivated by emancipation per se.
The true costs of the War between the States were not the 620,000 battlefield-related deaths, out of a national population of 30 million (were we to control for population growth, that would be equivalent to roughly 5 million battlefield deaths today). The true costs were a change in the character of our government into one feared by the likes of Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, and Calhoun – one where states lost most of their sovereignty to the central government. Thomas Jefferson saw as the most important safeguard of the liberties of the people "the support of the state governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies."
620,000 human deaths ... is mass slaughter, not heroic. Don't let yourself be fooled otherwise.
*Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War (Chicago: Open Court Press, 1996), p. 256.