Re: What started the War?
I believe all the reasons for Secession are summarized pretty well on the various State's ordinances of secession. There was mistrust and resentment of the Northern control of the legislative branch of the federal government and the election of a Republican president was the final straw. The perception of instigating widespread slave rebellions was the final straw because it threatened the lives and safety of virtually all Southerners. Like when somebody kicks over a fire ant bed, the ants attack every living creature they can reach. There were other grievances such as the tariffs and federal expenditures on infrastructure (i.e. railroads) primarily in the North that caused resentment for decades. All these injustices, real or perceived, helped firebrands in the South to promote Secession. Republicans, especially the Lincolnites, had a lot to gain from a "War of Rebellion", especially if it was a short war. By conducting the war and winning it, they subjugated all the people of the Southern States and created a Centralized Government that is more recognizable to people living today than someone living in 1860. That is what started the War.