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American Civil War
The American Civil War, generally known in the United States as just the Civil War, was a civil war fought from 1861 to 1865 to define the survival of the Union or independence for the Confederacy. Between the 34 states as of January 1861, seven Southern slave states individually declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America, known as the “Confederacy” or the “South.
There were four years of combat that took the lives of 600,000 Union and Confederate soldiers and destroyed much of the South’s public services. The Republican Party, dominant in the North, held a majority of the electoral votes, and Lincoln was elected president, but before his investiture on March 4, 1861, seven slave states with cotton-based economies formed the Confederacy. The Confederates believed that European countries were “King Cotton” dependent and then they would intervene; none did and Confederate States of America were not recognized.
Aggressions began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter, a key fort detained by Union troops in South Carolina. Lincoln asked every state to provide troops to take back the fort; consequently, four more slave states joined the Confederacy, bringing their total to eleven. Lincoln soon dominated the border states, after catching state legislators and suspending habeas corpus, ignoring the ruling of the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice that such interruption was unconstitutional, and started a naval blockade that crippled the southern economy.
The autumn 1862 Confederate campaign into Maryland ended with Confederate retreat at the Battle of Antietam, dissuading British intervention. Many other battles were fought. On April 14, 1865, President Lincoln was shot by a Southern sympathizer. Lincoln died the next morning, and Andrew Johnson became the president. President Johnson officially declared a virtual end to the rebellion on May 9, 1865; Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured the following day.
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