What Caused the Civil War?
By a 48%-to-38% margin, more Americans say states’ rights rather than slavery was the main cause of the Civil War.
Asked their impression of the main cause of the Civil War, a 48%-plurality of Americans say it was mainly about states’ rights. Just 38% say the Civil War was mainly caused by slavery. Another 9% volunteer that it was about both equally. Young people are more likely than older Americans to say that the war’s main cause was states’ rights — 60% of those younger than age 30 express this view, the highest percentage of any age group. Those ages 65 and older, by a 50%-to-34% margin, are the most likely to say that slavery rather than states rights was the main cause of the Civil War. Nearly half of whites (48%) say states’ rights was the war’s main cause, but so do 39% of blacks. Read More