Why was the Civil War fought in America?

3,612 Views Updated: 08 Aug 2017
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Why was the Civil War fought in America?

The brutal yet devastating American Civil War played a significant role in shaping the US as we know it today. However, it remains to be among the most misunderstood events in the history of America, and questions like what were the sides in the civil war battle, when exactly was it fought and when did the civil war end are still wandering without an answer.

To provide an insight into one of the most crucial chapters in American history, America let's explore some information regarding the civil America and clear all your doubts about the tragedy!

What Led To The War?

There are a plethora of factors that resulted in one of the darkest days in the history of the US. While the economy in the Northern US states was thriving on manufacturing and industry, the Southern states were still largely dependent on farming for which they required black slaves. The growing sentiment for the abolishment of slavery and prevention of its expansion in the west was considered a threat to Southern farmers. After the election of Abraham Lincoln as the new President of the US, seven Southern states seceded from the Union and came to be known as the Confederate States of America. The other argument which led to the war was if the US was a dissolvable confederate of states or a sovereign nation headed by one federal government.

(Image Courtesy: Boys' Life magazine)

When Was The American Civil War Fought?

After the election of the Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln, who was known for his anti-slavery beliefs in 1860, the tensions between the North and South escalated. The war officially began on April 12, 1861, when the Confederate army attacked Union soldiers at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. It wasn’t until the spring of 1865 that Robert E Lee, the last major of the Confederate army surrendered, and the war came close to an end.

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Who Fought The War?

There were two sides in the war. The first was the Union of the Northern states led by Abraham Lincoln who fought to abolish slavery from the nation, and other was the Southern states that came together to fight under one Confederate flag. Though earlier only seven states had seceded to form the Confederate, four other slave states also joined the confederacy in their battle to keep the slavery intact in America. These were South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee.

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How Did It Begin?

After the seven states had seceded, they demanded that US property, including military installments and equipment, be turned over to them but Lincoln refused. Even though the Confederate forces threatened the federal-held Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, Lincoln ordered a fleet to resupply the fortress which made the Southern states fire the first shots of the war. Within the two days of bombardment, Major Robert Anderson, the commander of Fort Sumter surrendered, and Confederacy took charge of the fort.

(Image Courtesy: Mr. Donn's American History)

How Did It End?

While Robert E Lee’s surrender in North Virginia on 9 April 1865 marks as the beginning of the end of the Civil War Battle, several smaller Confederate forces continued to fight the Union in the following weeks. The final battle of the American Civil War was fought at Palmito Ranch when 350 Confederate soldiers collided with 800 troops of the Union army. Though both sides were aware of the Confederate army’s loss of the Civil War, Colonel John Ford led Confederacy to the victory of its final land battle.

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What Were The Casualties?

Approximately 620,000 people lost their lives in combat, starvation, accident, and epidemic during the Civil War. This number was suggested by a study conducted by William F. Fox and Thomas Leonard Livermore, who fought for the Union. However, some people also argue that this count could be as high as 850,000. About 40,000 African-Americans, who fought for the Union, also died during the civil war.

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Found everything you wanted to know about the American Civil War? Tell us through your comments in the section below.

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