American Civil War (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Nature of the U.S. Constitution and national government, slavery. Result: Northern victory; preserved the Union and led to freedom for all slaves.
Decades of conflict and controversy between the North and the South finally culminated in war in 1861. Long-standing economic, political, social, and constitutional differences had steadily divided the two areas during the antebellum period. By 1860, the North had grown increasingly industrial, and the South remained primarily agricultural. The Republican Party dominated the free states of the North and the west, and the slave states of the South were solidly Democratic. The majority of Northerners opposed the spread of slavery, and Southerners wholeheartedly pushed for its expansion. Northerners believed the national government, the Union of the states, was indivisible and not dissolvable, and Southerners subscribed to the doctrine of states’ rights and the legitimacy of secession. Extremists on both sides exacerbated tensions in an already charged political environment until compromise became impossible.
The November, 1860, election of Abraham Lincoln, the Republican antislavery candidate, precipitated the secession of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas by February 1, 1861. Representatives for these states met in Montgomery, Alabama, later that month, formed the Confederate States...
(The entire section is 2879 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!