Lincoln did not trick the Confederacy into launching hostilities. The primary cause of the conflict was the uncompromising difference between the north and the south over the right to keep slaves and the power of the national government to abolish slavery in territories that had not joined the union. Lincoln was voted as President, and the southern states were aware of his stance on slavery. Therefore, the seceded and formed the Confederacy, whose aim was to take down the union. Accordingly, the Lincoln administration reacted to this with the help of William Seward. He gathered intelligence on American citizens who sympathized with the south and arrested political offenders using the secret service.