It's a common cliche to say that slavery was "on its way out" by 1860. But where's the evidence for that? The Southern plantocracy, in fact, fought tooth and nail to preserve their highly stratified way of life and the sense of honor that went along with it. Fact: During 1830-60, about 300 whites in South Carolina were lynched for propagating anti-slavery views.
What nations in the Western hemisphere, by the way, abolished slavery before we did? Brazil, for example, didn't get around to it until 1888.