Great questions, Mr. Strickler.
I'm certainly no expert on all this, but I've been doing a lot of reading about it lately. I'm sure I've got some facts wrong (and feel free to correct me), but as I understand it, here are some possible answers to -- or discussion of -- your great questions:
Frank Strickler wrote:#1 If the war was fought over slavery, what were five "Slave States" doing on the side of the north? (I'm includeing West Virgina as the 5th State.)
Well, take Mrs. Lincoln herself... As a Todd, she was from a wealthy Kentucky family that owned slaves. She agreed with her husband who was elected on the platform of allowing slavery in the states that already had them, but not allowing them in any future state -- as opposed to the "true" abolitionists who wanted to ban slavery every where. Lincoln (and wife) thought that this would be a way of maintaining the union. Lincoln did NOT run on emancipating slaves -- yet many Southern states swore to secede if he were elected. Why? Because they would accept NO constraint on slavery. And they made good on their threat. Lincoln then faced the dissolution of the union -- and he still did not consider emancipating the slaves, but only "suppressing the rebellion". (And remember, it was Beauregard who fired the first shot on Jefferson Davis's behest. The stimulus was not anything to do with slavery, but the ships that Lincoln had sent merely to resupply Fort Sumter.)
So, Lincoln did not even threaten to emancipate slaves, only to forbid any further extension of slavery into the territories.
So, why did slavery states NOT secede? Well, the western part of Virginia provides the perfect answer: Sure they had slaves -- but on a small scale compared to the Piedmont and deep south. They were Scots-Irish small farmers too proud (and intelligent) to go to war in order to support the plantation oligarchy that was getting rich off slave labor; they were small farmers, herders, and small business men who wanted nothing to do with a war that was pushed on them by the monied plantation classes of the East. If Mississippi had bordered free states, we'd probably have two Mississippi's as well, North and South. The Northern Mississippians were, like the Western Virginians, Scots-Irish small farmers also, who wanted nothing to do with the war.
Frank Strickler wrote:#2 Why did the "Emancipation Proclamation" only free the slaves that were in areas that were occupied by Confederate forces?
Given that Lincoln was trying to preserve the Union as his first priority, even the "Emancipation Proclamation" itself was not primarily about freeing slaves, but defeating the "rebellion." Clearly, freeing the slaves in the rebelling states would not only disturb the "domestic tranquility" of the warring states, but appease the abolitionists of the North. Lincoln was still trying, first, to save the Union.
Frank Strickler wrote:#3 Why weren't all the slaves, including those in northern "Slave States" freed until the 13th amendment?
That's a simple one: this required an amendment to the Constitution. How could one amend the constitution (and consider that amendment valid) when half the states were in open rebellion? In fact, it was only after the South lost the war that the abolitionists had the political power for universal emancipation. (They had the votes of freed slaves in the former Confederacy as well.)
Frank Strickler wrote:It is my understanding that Virginia was going to stay out of the mater until they were ordered to raise troops to put down the so called "Rebellion"
I share your understanding. Virginians were meeting to decide the issue when Jefferson Davis forced their hand by starting the war without them! Once hostilities had started, Virginia had to chose sides. And they choose to reject Lincoln's compromise position (no emancipation but no more slave states) and seceded.
To say the war was only about slavery is, to my mind, an over simplification. But to claim that the South's reasons for seceding were not primarily a refusal to accept any limitation on slavery simply ignores the facts, at least as I know them. The Confederacy began rewriting the motivation for the war before the war even ended, and survives to today in the myth of the Great Lost Cause. But, from my reading, I find it impossible to credit the notion that secession was due to anything but refusal to accept any limitation on slave labor.
I might add that though I've lived and worked in Virginia for the last 40 years, I grew up in central Florida. I was born there because that's where my for-bearers moved after loosing everything to Sherman in 1865 -- because of a debt incurred by the plantation aristocracy but paid for by middle-class and poor. Interestingly, they lost everything again in the 1930s to a new batch of monied oligarchs; now, my family (like so many others) is trying to hold on to the middle class life that they have in the face of another disaster brought by the same "Haves."
Those were great questions, Mr. Strickler, and we can all learn a lot by trying to discuss them. I've tried to do that above. What follows is not directed at you or anyone else in particular...
So now I'm just gonna let off some steam about this flag business: GET OVER IT!
- Slavery is a BAD idea.
- Any society which is built upon it is a BAD society -- whatever else there might be to admire in it.
- Any society that is willing to wage war not merely to maintain that society but to make sure that it can spread, unfettered, across a continent is not just BAD but INSANE.
- And, finally, it is beyond my comprehension that anyone would want to fly the flag of such a society; but, for what it's worth, I think that it is one's constitutional right to do so. Just because I find it silly doesn't mean that I have a right to keep someone from doing so. So fly the flag -- any @#$% flag you want. The flying says more about the flier than the flag, anyway.
The advantage of re-fighting the Civil War over and over again, is it keeps your mind off the fact that the same monied classes are still picking your pockets, making you make up the loss, and then laughing all the way to the bank as, once again, you vote for their bought-and-payed-for representatives -- all from the "Party of Lincoln," to boot. Some irony, huh?