Now this is an interesting take. Many traditionalists, like me, have argued that at least part of the cause of the WBTS was the self-righteous attitude of Northern abolitionists who saw many Southerners as immoral, backward, evil slaveholders. These transcendentalists wished to create their version of utopia by yielding their terrible swift sword and splashing around in blood. Hallelujah.
Neo-Confederate hogwash you say? Not according to more recent scholarship:
This sweeping, provocative history of America from the 1830s through Reconstruction has two grand themes. One is the importance of evangelical Protestantism, particularly in the North and within the Republican Party, in changing slavery from a political problem to an intractable moral issue that could only be settled by bloodshed. The second is the Civil War's transformation of America into a modern industrial nation with a powerful government and a commercial, scientific outlook, even as the postwar South stagnated in racism and backward-looking religiosity. UNC-Charlotte historian Goldfield (Still Fighting the Civil War) courts controversy by shifting more responsibility for the conflict to an activist North and away from intransigent slaveholders, whom he likens to Indians, Mexicans, and other targets viewed by white evangelical Northerners as "polluting" the spreading western frontier. (All emphasis mine.)
*(I've not read Professor Goldfield's book and the reviewer could be off on his analysis - but it's piqued my interest enough for me to take my Books-A-Million Christmas gift card out and use it to purchase this book - more later.)
*Update: One Amazon reviewer makes this observation: "Goldfield proposes that the death and destruction of the Civil War might have been avoided while the result would have been the same: the end of slavery." I, along with others, have made that same argument many times before - which resulted in an uptick in twisted knickers syndrome among the activist historians.