If the Civil War is the single greatest event in our history it would be because:
- It ended slavery. By doing this, it ended one of the most shameful aspects of our history. It did not fix our racial problems, but it did end slavery.
- It ended the most serious regional split in US history. Again, the North and South remained somewhat different from one another and with some amount of tension, but the most serious tensions were over.
- It was the only time when Americans fought Americans and the biggest war on US soil. For this reason, it holds a special place in our hearts and minds.
I don't think one can truly understand United States history without having a true understanding of the Civil War. The war split the country in two while pitting family and friends against each other. It also eneded the shameful institution of slavery.I would suggest you watch Ken Burns' Civil War to get a true understanding of the Civil War. Also, you can't go wrong reading Shelby Foote.