When we think of the causes of the Civil War, our first thought is usually of slavery. In this episode, we’ll examine how slavery came to America. We will travel to see the true conditions of Southern slaves,  and whether they were as terrible as most think today. We’ll explore the abolitionist movement against slavery and why they opposed it to the point of taking up arms.

Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade by John Newton

Thoughts Upon the African Slave Trade is a very valuable look at one of the worst aspects of Western slavery. Written by a great theologian who spent years in the trade himself, John Newton, author of Amazing Grace, it gives a first hand and theologically sound view. Read it for free by downloading as a PDF, or in an online interface.

Complete Interview with Julius

A Defense of Virginia, and Through Her, of the South by R. L. Dabney

Robert Louis Dabney, a leading southern Calvinistic theologian and chief of staff to Stonewall Jackson, after the war wrote this book to defend the southern cause. It was one of the most Biblical arguments made at the time. However, it should be noted that there are some points where he sounds a bit racist to us today. That is not something that we support, but it was very common view at the time in both North and South. Read it for free by download it as a PDF, or in an online book format.

Defending Slavery: Proslavery Thought in the Old South, a Brief History with Documents

To learn more about the variety of arguments that the Southerners used to defend their system of slavery, purchase Defending Slavery: Proslavery Thought in the Old South by Paul Finkelman on This book is a collection of the actual primary source documents to give you the genuine story of what the Southerners believed about slavery. Some of the arguments are good, some are bad. Some are based on the Bible, some are based on racism. But either way, its what the people of the time actually believed.

4th of July Address to the Colonization Society by William Lloyd Garrison

The abolitionists also had many arguments as to why slavery was an evil which had to be abolished. Read one of the most famous, Garrison’s Address to the Colonization Society, here on our site.