The Second American Revolution
The foundations of American democracy decreed the equality and freedom inherent in all people, except slaves. American slavery was a typical example of cognitive dissonance. Reasonable people understood that it was morally wrong, yet economics dictated that there was no other method for people to prosper through farming. Racism was a cloak for hiding fear that freed slaves could and would become an economic, political and social force to be reckoned with. A showdown was inevitable, with each side believing that what they fought for was right. While most Southerners did not own slaves (only 30% of Southerners did), they bristled at the idea of Yankees telling them what they could and could not do. For many Northerners, slavery mattered little, yet the idea of the Union being dissolved was reason enough to fight. In the end, the Northern abandonment of Reconstruction was a failure to follow up on the victories hard won on the battlefield. In the 1950s and 60s, African American blacks and moderate whites would fight a continuation of the War in lunchrooms, on buses and in the streets against corrupt police and a fearful white society.