Yes, you could say the war was about slavery.
You could say a nuclear reactor is a water heater and be correct as well. But we both know it is a little more than that.
Well, so was the war.
The centerpiece of it is slavery, whether a later insertion or an original intent one cannot deny that it was a major factor in bringing the war on.
There are a lot of good books out there on the subject but I will mention a few items. Slavery seems to have been around as long as there have been people. Some societies have taken slaves through winning a war. Others depended on merchants in that trade.
Some societies allowed the slaves to marry and have children. And in many of them, the children were not slaves. Similar to illegal immigrants coming to America and having children here. The children are citizens.
Referring back to the Loewen article’s respondents:
A few people said that slavery was immoral. I think that’s true. Some said it was illegal and one even called it treasonous. Both statements are dead wrong even if exuberantly stated. It was legally correct and nothing even approaching treason. (And, no, Lincoln did not punish the South for this bit of “treason”.)
Slavery is, was and always has been a blight on human societies. In America it was made even more reprehensible in that the slavery was restricted (in the most part) to a single race. This created a problem whereby free blacks were often captured and sold back into slavery as “escaped slaves”. Since they were black, it seemed a logical conclusion.
But there were blacks who owned slaves. Indians owned slaves. It was not a thing to be embraced by the white man alone.
Even nations in the past like Rome did not limit slavery to a single race or tribe of people. Only in America was that done.
I guess America has always earned its reputation for being “innovative”.