4. American Civil War

The war between states, in the U. S. history, a four-year war (1861-65) between the federal government of the U. S. and eleven Southern states that asserted their right to secede from the Union. The secession of the Southern states in 1860-61 and the ensuing outbreak of armed hostilities were the culmination of decades of growing sectional friction over the related issues of slavery, trade, and tariffs, and the doctrine of state’s rights. This friction was due to the differences between the economies of the North and South. The North had a growing manufacturing sector and small farms using free labor, while the South’s economy was based on large farms, plantations, and using slave labor. In the 1840’s and 50’s, the Northern states wanted to prohibit slavery in the Western territories that would eventually become new states. However the Southern states opposed to this issue and wanted to protect their right to keep slavery. During this time Abraham Lincoln, the candidate of the antislavery Republican Party, was elected as president in the late 1860, the Southern states carried out their threat and seceded. Generals such as Robert Lee and Ulysses S. Grant were also involved in this war. In March 1864, Lincoln gave Grant supreme command of the Union armies. Grant took personal command of the Army of the Potomac in the east and soon formulated a strategy of attrition based upon the Union’s overwhelming superiority in numbers and supplies. Grant began his final advance on April 1, at Five Forks; Lee surrendered at nearby Appomattox Court House on April 9. The North’s victory in the American Civil War resulted in the preservations of the Union, the abolition of slavery, and the granting of citizenship to the freed slaves. The war also marked the new economic and political ascendancy of the rapidly industrializing, increasingly in urbanized states of the North.

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