History of the Civil War

History of the Civil War

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The history of the Civil War began with the sectional conflict over slavery that led to the war. With the election of Republican Abraham Lincoln in 1860, thirteen slave states seceded and formed the Confederate States of America. The federal government (the “Union”) held that secession was illegal. Military action was begun by the secessionists with their attack on Fort Sumter, and the Union responded with attacks of its own.

The Civil War would become the deadliest war in American history, resulting in the deaths of approximately some 700,000 soldiers (many from battlefield infection and disease) and many civilians. At first, the Union fought simply to preserve the Union. But as the casualty toll mounted after 1863, Lincoln delivered his Emancipation Proclamation, indicating that the purpose of the war had become that of ending slavery. When the Union won the war in April 1865, each of the states in the defeated Confederacy was required to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, which prohibited slavery. The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments were also ratified, granting citizenship to the freed slaves along with the right to vote. But civil liberties remained largely hypothetical for African Americans in the South for generations to come.

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Civil War Index | Society | Power | Secession | The Confederacy: States’ RightsUnion Army | Fort Sumter | Progression of the War | Money and Manpower | Governance: The ConfederacyWartime PoliticsPolitics of Emancipation | Battles and Campaigns: CommandersOpening ClashesVirginia FrontPeninsular CampaignWestern TheaterThe West Turning of the TideFinal Stage | Strategy and Diplomacy: EuropeSea Power

history of the Civil War

Civil War: Index

society in the United States 1860-1865


history of the Civil War | power


economy of the United States 1860-1865




the Confederacy

The Confederacy

the Confederacy| money and manpower

The Confederacy: Money and Manpower

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history of the Civil War | the Confederacy | states' rights

The Confederacy: States’ Rights

Union army

Union Army

Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter

progression of the Civil War

Progression of the War

history of the Civil War | governance


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history of the Civil War | governance | the Confederacy

Governance: The Confederacy

history of the Civil War | wartime politics

Governance: Wartime Politics

politics of emancipation

Governance: The Politics of Emancipation

history of the Civil War | campaigns and battles

Battles and Campaigns

history of the Civil War | battles and campaigns | commanders

Battles and Campaigns: Commanders

history of the Civil War | battles and campaigns | opening clashes

Battles and Campaigns: Opening Clashes

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Civil War | Virginia Front

Battles and Campaigns: Virginia Front

Civil War | Peninsular Campaign

Battles and Campaigns: Peninsular Campaign

Civil War | Western theater

Battles and Campaigns: Western Theater

Civil War | The West

Battles and Campaigns: The West

Civil War | turning of the tide

Battles and Campaigns: Turning of the Tide

history of the Civil War| final stage

Battles and Campaigns: Final Stage

Civil War | strategy and diplomacy

Strategy and Diplomacy

Civil War | strategy and diplomacy | Europe

Strategy and Diplomacy: Europe

Civil War | sea power

Strategy and Diplomacy: Sea Power

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