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What led to the end of the Civil War?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Northern states had a huge inbuilt advantage over the South from the very start. Their final victory was virtually inevitable before the first shot had even been fired. For one thing, the North already had the relevant governmental institutions and economic infrastructure in place to wage what was effectively the first modern war. As well as having an economy that was over-reliant on agriculture, the South had to build a new system of government from scratch.

The Confederate States of America was based to a large extent on the weak, unwieldy Articles of Confederation that had existed before the Constitution. That particular arrangement had helped the American colonists win the Revolutionary War, and doubtless many Southerners saw no reason why a similar arrangement couldn't do the same for them in their conflict with the North. Unfortunately, the Articles had proved incapable of establishing the United States as a strong independent nation, ready to take its place in the world. Yet...

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larrygates eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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thewanderlust878 | Student

There were many events that led to the end of the Civil War. Some impacted more than others, but all were important. Here are some of the biggest events that led to the end of the Civil War:

  • The Union's victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg: these were two huge battles that definitely gave the Union the advantage after they won both these battles. Gettysburg was the official turning point of the war. After the battle President Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address
  • Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln officially declared all slaves free, which was the main reason the war started in the first place
  • Robert E. Lee surrendering at Appomattox Courthouse: this was the unofficial end of the war. The fighting was over, but the war was not publicly declared over until a few days afterwards