Amidst national controversy over the Confederate Flag and the role of the Confederacy in slavery, new Texas social studies text books are actively downplaying the role of slavery in the Civil War.

According to Pat Hardy, who was a board member when the curriculum was changed in 2010 , slavery was a side issue of the Civil War,

There would be those who would say the reason for the Civil War was over slavery. No. It was over states’ rights.

The guidelines that mandate the teaching of slavery in regards to the Civil War, which intentionally lists the reasons for the war as “sectionalism, states’ rights and slavery”, also eliminate the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow laws from the curriculum. The curriculum also requires students to read Jefferson Davis' inaugural speech as President of the Confederacy, which does not mention slavery, but does not require students to read the speech by Davis' Vice President Alexander Stephens where he explained that the desire to preserve slavery would be the cornerstone to the Confederate government and "the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution."

Many opponents of the change in curriculum agree that the issue of state's rights was central to the Civil War, they also argue that the right the south was fighting to protect was slavery.

James Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association, noted that slavery as a primary reason for the south's secession was commonly agreed upon by historians,

The War happened only because of the determination of the leadership of eleven states to defend the right of their residents to own other human beings.  The Civil War was fought over the issue of slavery.

Jeremy A. Stern was tasked with reviewing state standards for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in 2011. Stern graded Texas at a "D", saying that board was attempting to remold history to fit modern-day views. Stern graded South Carolina, the state where the Civil War officially began and the Charleston shooting, with an "A", praising the honestly of the Civil War curriculum.

Several Declarations of Secession note slavery in their reasons for separation. While Texas only refers to it regards to its sister-states, Mississippi's declaration states that their position is "thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery" and calls slavery the greatest material interest in the world.

The Texas textbooks in question will go into effect in the fall.

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