Originally Posted by jettio
The decision to secede was made in the state legislatures. The best way to determine the reason for the decision would be to read what the legislators said during the debate. Historians say that the issue of slavery was far and away the major factor, in the debates in the states that seceded before Lincoln's inaugauration. Perhaps the effect of the Fort Sumter battle was to make the next 4 states to expand their rationale when debating the decision to secede, but Slavery was still the biggest reason cited by the people that voted for it.
The Slavery controversy was the reason for the Civil War and the election of Lincoln as the first Republican president was the triggering event for secession. The seceding states did not even let the newly elected President and Congress sit before seceding.
When the Southerners tried to muscle out Federal troops from military installations in their states, that is when the war began.
So it was Slavery Controversy, 1860 Election, Seceding states aggressive action against Federal troops, and then the North was willing to fight to preserve the Union.
You must be talking about the Kansas-Nebraska act of 1856 that led to the caning of Charles Sumner. It was a major issue about the role of slaves in westward expansion. It was an issue only because slavery was slowly dying in America and Europe thus becoming a national issue with expansion into US territories. But, the start of the Civil War started over a number of states rights issues going back to the origins of the nation. To boil it down to just slavery does not do justice to the issues of the day nor honor our national heroes such as Fredrick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln that lived by moral principle and honor.