There are similarities between pre-Civil War politics and today’s. From Thomas DiLorenzo at lewrockwell.com:
In 2013 historian and novelist Thomas Fleming, the author of more than fifty books including biographies of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, and histories of the two world wars, made a contribution to American Civil War history with A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War. A kind of “disease in the public mind” that Fleming speaks of seems to have commenced a second wave that many fear may lead to a second civil war.
Fleming is perplexed that the United States was “the only nation in the world to fight a war to end slavery.” All other countries (Great Britain, Spain, France, Netherlands, Denmark, the Northern states in the U.S.), ended slavery peacefully in the nineteenth century. He also does not believe that the average Confederate soldier fought to defend slavery since “a mere 6 percent of the total white population” of the South in 1860 owned slaves and there was no stake in the system for the other 94 percent.
So why was there a war, according to Thomas Fleming? First, there was an extreme “malevolent envy” of Southerners by the New England “Yankees” who believed they were God’s chosen people entitled to rule over not only America but the world. Today, such people would be called “neocons.” Southerners did not agree, obviously.