There is no doubt that American civil war that took place between 1861 and 1865 was one of the most cruel and turbulent times in the history of the United States. In fact, over 600,000 people lost their lives in this war. Indeed, the civil was war was caused by various reasons, which include the issue of slavery, economic and social differences between the north and the south, the growth of the abolition voices and the election of Abraham Lincoln and the president.
Various events served to escalate tensions after 1850 and some of them include the passing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Dred Scot Decision. The passing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed the 1820 compromise, thus in enabled individuals in the areas of Kansas and Nebraska to decide on the slavery issue. The act proved to be a disaster because it was an open invitation to a very bitter and fierce strife.
The Dred Scot Decision was actually a ruling by the American Supreme Court that all individuals of American descent who were being held as slaves were not protected by the American constitution and could never be citizens. Furthermore, the court ruled that the US congress had no authority to prevent or disallow slavery. This ruling served to heighten the tension in between the states opposed to slavery and the ones that supported slavery years before the American civil war.
Yes, I strongly believe that the American civil war was primarily a conflict over slavery. Essentially, in the years before the civil war a considerable number of sectarian or sectional issues revolved around the issue of slavery. The United States was increasingly split over the issue of slavery. Some sates allowed it while others were opposed to it. Subsequently, both sides of the divide were very ready and determined to defend the status quo. Additionally, conspiracy theories existed on both sides, as each side believed ad maintained that the others were strategizing and aiming at undermining its position on the issue of slavery.