Reveal The Truth, The War for Southern Independence. Abraham Lincoln. Slavery was not the cause of the Civil War! Excessive taxes, states rights and lack of fair representation in the federal government led the Southern states to legally secede. Text: "I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races." Lincoln-Douglas Debates, September 1858, Charleston.