Q:

Why did the American Civil War start?

A:

Quick Answer

Many factors contributed to the beginning of the Civil War, most notably the divisive issue of whether or not slavery would be allowed in the territories of the United States. At the time, the United States was rapidly expanding westward, and the newly-elected President Lincoln vowed that the newly-acquired land would not allow slavery.

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Full Answer

CivilRights.org notes that there were several issues central to the Civil War, in addition to slavery. Free and slave-states held different positions regarding State's rights and taxation. The North and South had different economic interests that led to conflict, the North focusing on industry and manufacturing and the South driven by agriculture.

Several southern states seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America, or the Confederacy, in reaction to Lincoln's anti-slavery decree. Although the succession was not formally recognized, the Union had to react. However, when the Confederate army captured Fort Sumter in 1861, and rose its own Confederate flag, the Civil War began.

South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama,Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee all seceded over the course of the war. The Union captured Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Georgia on May 10, 1865, ending the war and beginning the long end of slavery, as an institution in the United States.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why were the border states important in the American Civil War?

    A:

    The border states, which had not seceded, but separated the United States from the Confederate States, were of great importance to the Northern war strategy. In order to win the war, the Union Army would need to pass through the border states to invade the South and, because of Confederate sympathies, there was Northern concern over marching through potentially hostile territory. The border states also contained the greater portion of the South's food and fuel and three-quarters of its industrial capability.

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  • Q:

    Where can you find Civil War records?

    A:

    The National Park Service website contains a database featuring records of soldiers and sailors, including those that fought during the Civil War. These records contain information including names, ranks and dates of service as well as the date of death, if known.

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  • Q:

    What was the cause of the Civil War?

    A:

    Some of the major causes of the Civil War were state rights and differences in the social and economical structure between the North and South. Slavery fit into all three of these categories and was another key component to the start of the Civil War.

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  • Q:

    What were the pros and cons of the Civil War?

    A:

    Positive outcomes of the Civil War included a stronger United States government and the abolition of slavery, while negative outcomes included a high death toll and ongoing racial strife. The Civil War took place from 1861-1865 and literally divided America.

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