The American Civil War: 1861-1865

The American Civil War: 1861-1865

2022, History  -   3 Comments
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The American Civil War, a brutal conflict lasting from 1861 to 1865, tore the United States apart along the fault lines of slavery, states' rights, and economic disparity. For decades, tensions simmered between the Northern and Southern states, fueled by the North's growing opposition to slavery and the South's dependence on the institution for its agricultural economy.

These tensions came to a head with the election of Abraham Lincoln, a vocal opponent of slavery, as President in 1860. Fearing the abolition of their way of life, seven Southern states seceded from the Union, forming the Confederate States of America.

The war officially began on April 12, 1861, with the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter, a Union-held fort in South Carolina. Over the next four years, brother fought against brother in some of the bloodiest battles in American history, including Antietam, Gettysburg, and Vicksburg. Technological advancements like rifled muskets and ironclad warships made the war deadlier than ever before.

While military victories were crucial, the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 shifted the war's purpose beyond preserving the Union to ending slavery. This move rallied international support for the Union and inspired enslaved people to join the war effort. Black soldiers, known as "Buffalo Soldiers," fought bravely, contributing significantly to the Union victory.

By 1865, the Confederacy, exhausted and lacking resources, began to crumble. General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, marking the end of the war.

The Civil War left a deep scar on the nation. Over 620,000 soldiers perished, and countless civilians suffered through economic devastation and displacement. The war ultimately abolished slavery, though the fight for racial equality would continue for generations. It also strengthened the federal government and solidified the principle of national unity over state sovereignty.

The legacy of the Civil War remains complex and contested. While the war ended slavery, it did not erase the deep racial divisions that it exposed. Understanding this pivotal period in American history is crucial to grappling with ongoing issues of race, justice, and national identity.

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Don Duncan
Don Duncan
2 months ago

Look up the definition of "civil war". It's two or more factions fighting to control all jurisdictions, i.e., one government, one sovereign over all individuals, enforced by death threats, fraud, propaganda. Did the first sovereign state that seceded fight to control all states? Of course not. Secession is the end of an alliance, the separation of political entities, not a declaration of authority over all in the alliance, a confederation.
The northern states didn't secede to eliminate slavery. They believed it was their sovereign right to have slavery or outlaw it. The southern states agreed. Slavery was NOT the issue.
Some southern states were forbidden by federal law to freely export/import. Worse, they were prohibited by law to have the same industries that competed with the northern states. This made the south unequal economically with the north and violated their sovereignty.
When the northern states has suffered discrimination by the federal govt. they threatened secession and no states claimed secession would be treason or that state unity was a goal that took president over state sovereignty. That idea was invented and violently forced on all states by POTUS Lincoln, after he started "The War Between the States".