1) "The complexity of the several ISSUES within the slavery debate and the states themselves and the country as a whole." Anyone who insists that the Civil War came about due to any one factor just isn't paying attention. The easiest statement to make would be that it was all about slavery, and slavery certainly entwined itself around almost every controversy. Even the tariff, which some folks trot out from time to time but never became an issue within the 1860 election campaign, was based on slavery.
The complexity of the issues surrounding the war make the Civil War the most interesting phase of American history. It's why we are on this board today.
2) "[Slavery might be] undesireable, but it was legal. It is the same with the right to private ownership of guns." Even people inside Federal military lines, most of whom owned no slaves, were troubled that the President could remove the right to slave property by simple proclamation. If it became politically expedient, what other form of property ownership could be removed without due process? Certainly that became a fighting cause to most Southerners, a majority of whom did not live in households that included any slaves.
3) "[Citizens of] the Southern states were trying to find a way to remain in the Union in November 1860." If David Upton will oblige, we will have a stream of newspaper articles from 150 years ago which express shock and dismay over the election results. They all wondered, 'What shall we do now?' There were no desirable choices. Almost everyone, from Colonel Robert E. Lee to subsistence farmers in the Appalachians, strongly believed that the Union should be preserved, and that secession would probably lead to disaster. Most Southerners eventually embraced secession as the best of a limited number of political options available.
4) "Slavery was not needed in any of the states that allowed Slavery in 1860." Other than Hinton Rowan Helper, it would be difficult to find white Southerners who would agree with this statement; out loud, anyway. You could easily find yourself in a new suit of tar and feathers and searching for a new place to live.
A point which seems to have been lost on this board concerns the balance of power in the U.S. Senate. Ever since the Missouri Compromise, there had been an effort to maintain a balance between slave and non-slave states admitted to the Union.
Slavery in the territories had nothing to do with how practical cotton culture might be in New Mexico or Kansas. It had everything to do with maintaining senate parity. That's why Kansas, slated in 1854 to enter the Union as a slave state, had been paired with non-slave Nebraska. The loss of Kansas, which Southerners did everything possible to bring in as a slave state, upset the balance of power. The only way to counterbalance free territories becoming free state would be admission of slave states in the Caribbean basin and Central America. That was the purpose of the ill-fated William Walker Expedition to Nicaragua just before the war.
The combination of military defeat and the effects of emancipation destroyed the Southern economy. Few regions of the world have experienced such a dramatic swing from prosperity to poverty within four years. Aside from the loss of political power for the region, disasterous enough in itself, the end of slavery brought about a collapse of the Southern labor market. In 1860 an unskilled laborer could expect to be paid anywhere from 90 cents to 1.25 a day. Farmers normally paid in coin for extra workers at harvest, planting and other times of need. Former slaves were willing to work for pennies, and the labor market collapsed.
Subsistence famers lost their lands and share-cropping replaced cash rentals, as coin virtually disappeared in most areas as a medium of exchange. Eventually Southern families sent children to work for a nickel to a dime a day for twelve hours work in the cotton mills. Poverty remained the norm for most Southern families for almost a century after the election of Abraham Lincoln.
If anyone is interested, this is the right place to introduce Col. William C. Oates and his remarks on the effects of emancipation on Confederates who owned no slaves.