Assignment 3. Read the text, be ready to answer questions:
The American Civil War (1861–1865) was fought over the secession of the
Confederate States Eleven southern slave states declared their secession from the
United States and formed the Confederate States of America ("the Confederacy");
the other 25 states supported the federal government ("the Union"). After four years
of warfare, mostly within the Southern states, the Confederacy surrendered and
slavery was abolished everywhere in the nation. Issues that led to war were partially
resolved in the Reconstruction Era that followed, though others remained
The causes of the Civil War were complex. Slavery was the central source of
escalating political tension in the 1850s. The Republican Party was determined to
prevent any spread of slavery, and many Southern leaders had threatened secession
if the Republican candidate, Lincoln, won the 1860 election. Following Lincoln's
victory, many Southern whites felt that disunion had become their only option.
To Northerners, in contrast, the motivation was primarily to preserve the Union, not
to abolish slavery. Abraham Lincoln consistently made preserving the Union the
central goal of the war.
In 1860 the Republican Party, led by Abraham Lincoln, won the presidential
election and acted against expanding slavery. On March 4, 1861, seven cotton
states declared their secession and joined to form the Confederate States of America.
The legality of secession was rejected, the government thought it rebellion. The
other eight slave states rejected calls for secession at this point. No foreign
governments recognized the Confederacy.
Hostilities began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces fired on a U.S.
military installation at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Lincoln called for a volunteer
army from each state. Both sides raised armies as the Union seized control of the
border states early in the war and established a naval blockade. In September 1862,
the Confederate campaign in Maryland ended in defeat at the Battle of Antietam.
Days after that battle, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made
ending slavery a war goal.
In 1863, Confederate general Robert E. Lee's northward advance ended in defeat at
the Battle of Gettysburg. To the west, the Union gained control of the Mississippi
River after the Battle of Shiloh and Siege of Vicksburg, splitting the Confederacy in
two and destroying much of their western army. Meanwhile, Atlanta was captured
and the Northerns marched to the sea, destroying Confederate infrastructure along
the way. In 1865 while the Confederate army was defending Petersburg it was
defeated. General Lee was surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House.
The American Civil War was one of the earliest true industrial wars. Railroads, the
telegraph, steamships, and mass-produced weapons were employed extensively.
Victory for the North meant the end of slavery in the United States, and