Secession and Civil War

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What were the goals in the beginning of the Civil War for each side?

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Both the North and the South hoped and even expected, to achieve a quick victory. They knew that a protracted conflict would be disastrous. Many felt that it would be a short war and would be over in a few months at most. Therefore their goal at the outset of the conflict was to score a decisive victory that would compel the other side to give up. This hope was quickly dashed when each side realized that the other was more determined than they had first assumed.

The overarching goal of the South was to break away from the Union and establish their own nation where they would be free to continue practicing the institution of slavery. Southerners had been growing concerned for some time that the abolitionist movement in the North would eventually lead to a ban on slavery. For decades, the balance between slave-holding interests and anti-slave movements had been teetering on a razor's edge. There had been many efforts to halt the expansion of slavery as the country grew. Many southerners...

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