The Civil War was America's bloodiest war – taking more American lives than all other wars in which it had engaged and would engage . . . all combined.
Six hundred thousand dead in a population of 30 million. Many other nations ended slavery without that much bloodshed.
Propagandists of any era – like now with Syria – like to say war's the “only way.” These warmongers exploit the legacy of violently “ending slavery” (read: merely relegating some Americans to serfdom, instead) to justify barbarism today.
Late historian Howard Zinn asks us to consider that positive social ends can be achieved without violence . . . albeit sometimes more slowly.