What event caused Southern states to secede from the Union, just weeks after it happened?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The event that caused the Southern states to secede was the election of Abraham Lincoln as the President of the United States. 

The presidential election of 1860 was held on November 6th.  By December 20th, South Carolina became the first state to secede.  Many others followed in January.  The reason for this was that the South felt that Lincoln’s election meant the end of slavery.  While Lincoln was personally opposed to slavery, he felt that the US government did not have the right to ban it.  However, Southerners were certain that he would move to end slavery.  They were also unhappy about the fact that Lincoln was elected even though he did not get any votes in the South.  They felt that this showed that they had lost all power in the country and that the North would eventually ban slavery.  Because they felt that they had lost power and would have abolition imposed upon them, the seceded.  The event that was the immediate cause of this was the election of Abraham Lincoln.


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