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American Civil War


The American Civil war was fought over the right to own slaves and not State rights. The State rights ruse was merely an attempt to justify slavery. The American Civil war is the only war that the loser’s monuments and beliefs are proudly on display.

The American Civil War (also known by other names), one of the most studied and written about episodes in U.S. history, was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North (the Union) and the South (the Confederacy). The Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North, which also included some geographically western and southern states, proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery. Of the 34 U.S. states in February 1861, seven Southern slave states were declared by partisans to have seceded from the country, and a Confederate States of America was organized in rebellion against the U.S. Constitutional government. The Confederacy grew to control at least a majority of territory in eleven states, and it claimed the additional states of Kentucky and Missouri by assertions from native secessionists fleeing Union authority, but without territory or population therein; these states were given full representation in the Confederate Congress throughout the Civil War. The two remaining slave states, Delaware and Maryland, were invited to join the Confederacy, but nothing substantial developed due to intervention by federal troops. The Confederate States was never diplomatically recognized by the government of the United States or by that of any foreign country. The states that remained loyal to the U.S. were known as the Union. The Union and the Confederacy quickly raised volunteer and conscription armies that fought mostly in the South over the course of four years. Intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 people dead, more than the number of U.S. military deaths in all other wars combined. The war effectively ended April 9, 1865 when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House. Confederate generals throughout the southern states followed suit, the last surrender on land occurring June 23. Much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed, especially the transportation systems. The Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, and four million black slaves were freed. During the Reconstruction era that followed the war, national unity was slowly restored, the national government expanded its power, and civil and political rights were granted to freed black slaves through amendments to the Constitution and federal legislation. more...

The Civil War was America's bloodiest and most divisive conflict, pitting the Union Army against the Confederate States of America. The war resulted in the deaths of more than 620,000 people, with millions more injured and the South left in ruins. America’s bloodiest clash, the sectional conflct of the Civil War (1861-65) pitted the Union against the Confederate States of America and resulted in the death of more than 620,000, with millions more injured. more...

Four-year war (1861–65) between the United States and 11 Southern  states that seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of  America. Prelude to war. The secession of the Southern states (in chronological order, South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina) in 1860–61 and the ensuing outbreak of armed hostilities were the culmination of decades of growing sectional friction over slavery. Between 1815 and 1861 the economy of the Northern states was rapidly modernizing and diversifying. Although agriculture—mostly smaller farms that relied on free labour—remained the dominant sector in the North, industrialization had taken root there. Moreover, Northerners had invested heavily in an expansive and varied transportation system that included canals, roads, steamboats, and railroads; in financial industries such as banking and insurance; and in a large communications network that featured inexpensive, widely available newspapers, magazines, and books, along with the telegraph. By contrast, the Southern economy was based principally on large farms (plantations) that produced commercial crops such as cotton and that relied on slaves as the main labour force. Rather than invest in factories or railroads as Northerners had done, Southerners invested their money in slaves—even more than in land; by 1860, 84 percent of the capital invested in manufacturing was invested in the free (nonslaveholding) states. Yet, to Southerners, as late as 1860, this appeared to be a sound business decision. The price of cotton, the South’s defining crop, had skyrocketed in the 1850s, and the value of slaves—who were, after all, property—rose commensurately. By 1860 the per capita wealth of Southern whites was twice that of Northerners, and three-fifths of the wealthiest individuals in the country were Southerners. more...

Was an unsuccessful proposal introduced by United States Senator John J. Crittenden (Constitutional Unionist of Kentucky) on December 18, 1860. It aimed to resolve the secession crisis of 1860–1861 by addressing the fears and grievances about slavery that led many slave-holding states to contemplate secession from the United States. The compromise proposed six constitutional amendments and four Congressional resolutions. Crittenden introduced the package on December 18. It was tabled on December 31. It guaranteed the permanent existence of slavery in the slave states and addressed Southern demands in regard to fugitive slaves and slavery in the District of Columbia. It proposed re-instating the Missouri Compromise (which had been functionally repealed in 1854 by the Kansas–Nebraska Act, and struck down entirely in 1857 by the Dred Scott decision), and extending the compromise line to the west, with slavery prohibited north of the 36° 30′ parallel and guaranteed south of it. The compromise included a clause that it could not be repealed or amended. The compromise was popular among Southern members of the Senate, but it was generally unacceptable to the Republicans, who opposed the expansion of slavery beyond the states where it already existed into the territories. The opposition of their party's leader, President-elect Abraham Lincoln, was crucial. Republicans said the compromise "would amount to a perpetual covenant of war against every people, tribe, and state owning a foot of land between here and Tierra del Fuego." The only territories south of the line were parts of New Mexico Territory and Indian Territory. There was considerable agreement on both sides that slavery would never flourish in New Mexico. The South refused the House Republicans' proposal, approved by committee on December 29, to admit New Mexico as a state immediately. However, not all opponents of the Crittenden Compromise also opposed further territorial expansion of the United States. The New York Times referred to "the whole future growth of the Republic" and "all the Territory that can ever belong to the United States—the whole of Mexico and Central America." more...

A new book explores the false—yet oddly ubiquitous—belief that black men fought for the South during the Civil War.
By Rebecca Onion
Spend any amount of time talking about slavery on the internet, and you’ll eventually encounter the claim that there were “black Confederates” that fought for the South. “Over the past few decades, claims to the existence of anywhere between 500 and 100,000 black Confederate soldiers, fighting in racially integrated units, have become increasingly common,” writes historian Kevin Levin in his new book, Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth. “Proponents assert that entire companies and regiments served under Robert E. Lee’s command, as well as in other theaters of war.” Look, believers say (directly or subtextually): The Confederacy can’t have been so bad for black people. Otherwise, why would they have defended it? Levin’s book explains how this myth came about—while neatly dismantling it. We spoke recently about actual Confederates’ perspectives on black soldiers; why former “body servants” attended Confederate reunions during Jim Crow; and how the World Wide Web gave this story legs.  This conversation has been edited for length and clarity. Rebecca Onion: I can see from following your Twitter that you sometimes engage with people who believe in this myth. And you’ve been researching it for a decade or so. What are the major pieces of evidence that people most often bring to you as “proof”? Kevin Levin: If you’re browsing online, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of websites dedicated to promoting this myth. And on many of them, you’ll find photographs of enslaved men in uniform, which are easily interpreted as “proof” of the existence of black Confederate soldiers. Certainly there are plenty of newspaper accounts, mainly from Northern newspapers published during the war, that seem to suggest black men were fighting as soldiers. There are photographs taken after the war of some of these former “body servants” attending Confederate veterans’ reunions and monument dedications. Sometimes you’ll hear or read references to pensions given to black Confederate “soldiers,” which in fact were for former camp slaves or “body servants.” There are some bits of evidence that are straight-up faked, like a supposed photograph of the “Louisiana Native Guard,” which is actually of black Union soldiers. But in a lot of cases it’s not about fakery, and more that the social context surrounding the evidence isn’t being considered, right? Yes. The best example is on the cover of my book, which has a photo of Andrew and Silas Chandler: two men, both in uniform, one black and one white. They both appear to be heavily armed, and what more evidence could you possibly need for the existence of one black Confederate soldier? It’s an iconic photograph, one of the most popular photographs of the Civil War. more...

Slavery was the Civil War's cause despite revisionists saying otherwise. Historian Adam Goodheart, who has a new book on the critical year of "1861" said he thinks part of the reason for that revisionism is the difficulty some Southerners have in believing their ancestors fought for slavery. It's the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War when Southerners fired on the union redoubt of Ft. Sumter in Charleston, SC's harbor. If one of William Faulkner's most famous lines ever applied to anything — "The past is never dead. It's not even past." — it is the Civil War. All this time later, that war still echoes powerfully through American politics. You could draw a straight line from that war through Reconstruction to Jim Crow segregation to the Civil Rights era, then affirmative action and on to the election of the first African-American president up to the present moment. They are all linked. And they have left their mark on the two major political parties, with African Americans exiting the party of Lincoln and white Southerners embracing it as the lingering shock waves from the Civil War eventually led the parties to reconstitute themselves in different ways. Americans even still debate why the war was fought. Many a revisionist says it was about state's rights. Others insist it was over slavery. The latter have history on their side.  It's the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War when Southerners fired on the union redoubt of Ft. Sumter in Charleston, SC's harbor. If one of William Faulkner's most famous lines ever applied to anything — "The past is never dead. It's not even past." — it is the Civil War. All this time later, that war still echoes powerfully through American politics. You could draw a straight line from that war through Reconstruction to Jim Crow segregation to the Civil Rights era, then affirmative action and on to the election of the first African-American president up to the present moment. They are all linked. And they have left their mark on the two major political parties, with African Americans exiting the party of Lincoln and white Southerners embracing it as the lingering shock waves from the Civil War eventually led the parties to reconstitute themselves in different ways. Americans even still debate why the war was fought. Many a revisionist says it was about state's rights. Others insist it was over slavery. The latter have history on their side. more...

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