The State Board of Education voted today to stress that slavery was the main cause of the Civil War, ending a contentious discussion which touched on the way the State of Texas views its history, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The Board approved a resolution by member Lawrence Allen, who is the only African American on the board.
"The new wording will be, 'explain the central role of the expansion of slavery in causing sectionalism, and states rights, in causing the Civil War," Allen said.
Board members had previously urged that teachers instruct their pupils that slavery was just one of the many causes of the Civil War, not the prime one, which is disputed by every Civil War historian, and is a lynchpin of what is known as 'the Lost Cause' movement which was popular in the early to mid Twentieth Century.
It told that 'the War of Northern Aggression,' as many at the time called it, was sparked by tariffs, a desire by the North to deny the 'states rights' of the South, and the desire by the South to protect Southern culture, including, as it was called in the Texas secession declaration, the 'benificent and patriarchal system of African slavery.
'"Proclaiming the debasing doctrine of the equality of all men, irrespective of race or color--a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of the Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and the negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States," says the document approved by the Texas Legislsture in 1861, and which makes for painful reading today.
The State Board of Education today also agreed to remove mention of Barry Goldwater, Oprah, Frances Willard and Jane Addams from the history curriculum, but keep Hillary Clinton and Eleanor Roosevelt, and continue to teach what supporters say was the 'influence of Moses and Mosaic Law on the founding of the United States and the Declaration of Independence.