The Civil War was a critical event in American history for religious as well as secular reasons. It was a moral war, not because one side was good, the other evil, nor because purity of motive was more pronounced on one side than on the other. Rather, as Sydney Ahlstrom has argued, it was a moral war because it sprang from a moral impasse on issues that Americans in the mid-nineteenth century could no longer avoid or escape. “Had there been no slavery, there would have been no war. Had there been no moral condemnation of slavery, there would have been no war.” In 1852, US Senator Henry Clay observed: “If the churches divide on the subject of slavery, there will be nothing left to bind our people together but trade and commerce.” Let their passions be aroused and they will fight “even if you show them that ruin to themselves and families will be the probable result.” Divided and aroused they became, and, much as Clay predicted, fighting and ruin resulted.