The beginning of the war

The turning point in the tense relationship between Southern and Northern states in the US was the election of Abraham Lincoln as US President. Lincoln was a Republican and a well-known abolitionist, so the states in the South feared he would limit their slave-owning rights. Partly because of this fear, seven slave states - South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas - seceded from the United States before Lincoln’s inauguration as US President. These seven states formed the Confederate States of America (also known as the Confederacy).

The US refused to recognise the Confederacy, but at first they hoped to avoid a war and maintain the Union through peaceful means. This is why Lincoln tried to reassure Southern ...

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