Secession and Civil War Questions and Answers

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How did southern states react to the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860?

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In short, the southern states reacted to Abraham Lincoln's election by seceding from the Union. A number of the southern states had already threatened to secede if Lincoln was elected. By the time Lincoln was sworn into office in March seven states had already carried through with this threat, forming the Confederate States of America under the leadership of their appointed president, Jefferson Davis. Four more states would soon follow suit. The next month, the war began with the siege of Fort Sumter in South Carolina. This signaled the beginning of open rebellion in the southern states.

While Lincoln's election was the catalyst for the secession of the southern states, it is quite possible that such a national crisis would have eventually happened anyway. The long series of compromises over the legality and proliferation...

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