Civil War 1861-1865

Civil War




·     USA are divided into North and South by different economical systems

·     North: industry, banking, international trade, expanding railway network

·     South: manly agriculture (cotton, little rice, sugar, tobacco), rather poor railway connections

A conflict rises:

1800 - 1840: cotton production rises by factor 18 (approx. 300 million kg per year)

T  slaves are used as cheap workers

T  expansion of state area necessary, because cotton monoculture exhausted the soil

T  South: pro slavery attitude: 'not responsible for it, cultural habit', 'more humane under slavery system than under the northern wages system'

Northern antislavery movement:

1808: Congress abolishes slave trade with Africa

·     afterwards antislavery-protest maintained by Quakers

1831: Garrison publishes 'The Liberator'

·     appeals for uncompromising and complete liberation

·     radical, combative, uncompromising

·     'Underground Railroad'(Northerners freed slaves from the South)

1820: Missouri Compromise (slavery was limited to states where it already existed)

1845: Texas annexed (always had slavery)

1846: USA expand westwards (California, Utah, New Mexico)

·     conflict about slavery issue:

T  extent Missouri Compromise to the West?

T  let the new states decide ('popular sovereignty')

1848: gold rush in California

T  slavery issue had to be solved, before new government could be established

1850: Compromise of 1850

·     free soil constitution in California

·     New Mexico and Utah organised without mention of slavery

·     more effective machinery to catch runaways

T  Northerners improve Underground Railroad

·     no slave trade in D.C., but still slavery

·     relieve of political situation, but no solution

1852: North influenced by 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'

1854: quarrel renewed, because Kansas and Nebraska were being settled

T  it was permitted to bring slaves into these states, but they were free to decide about slavery issue

·     Lincoln holds speech against slavery ('The slavery issue has to be decided by the whole USA, not by single states)

1858: Lincoln candidate for US Senate election

            lost election, but became famous with speeches

1860: wins president election for the young Republican party

T  South Carolina leaves Union

T  6 other southern states follow

1861 (8.2.): South forms Confederate States of America and vote Jefferson Davis as their


Civil War begins:

1861: (4.3.): Lincoln was sworn in as president

·     refused to recognise secession of southern states (legally void)

·     plea to restore the Union

T  Confederates begin war against the Union on April 12

T  4 new states join Confederation

·     Union: 23 industry states, population of 22 million; naval supremacy of east American coast (sea blockade); famous commander: Ulysses S. Grant

·     Confederation: 11 agricultural states, population of 9 million; famous commander: Robert E. Lee

1863: (1.1.): Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation

T  freeing slaves; inviting them to join northern army

·     July: 3-day-battle in Gettysburg

T  Lee's army was defeated

T  major turning point in war

T  southern resources near by their end

T  northern industry improved by war, agricultural export improved by sea blockade

1864: Lincoln is voted president again

1865: (2.4.) Lee surrenders

T  terms of surrender not too strict as America is still one nation

After War Policy:

·     March: 13th amendment to US constitution (abolishes slavery and introduces Freedman's bureau)

·     4.4.:Lincoln's speech proclaiming a generous reconstruction policy

·     13.4.: Washington celebrates victory

·     14.4: Lincoln assassinated, died next morning

T  Andrew Johnson new president

·     Southern-states-issue: Lincoln: secession never was legal

T  states never left union

T  southern individuals made states disregard authority, only individuals should be punished

·     Johnson appoints governors for southern states, then they elect their own governments

1866: 14th Amendment (blacks gain citizenship)

T  refused by the South

·     Reconstruction act of March 1867

T  southern governments are ignored and are divided into 5 districts placed under military rule

T  states could avoid military rule by ratifying the 14th amendment

1868: 14th Amendment is ratified by all States

1870: 15th Amendment (the right to vote for everyone)

·     Reconstruction:

T  many southern States rejoined Union with new governments, mainly consisting of northern politicians

T  Louisiana, South Carolina, Mississippi: mainly black politicians

·     acts of violence by southern whites

T  Enforcement Act: punishment for whites ignoring the blacks' rights

1872 (May): Amnesty Act: restoring full political privileges (except radical confederates)

1877: President Rutherford Hayes removes troops and admits failure of reconstruction policy

Source material: 'AN OUTLINE OF AMERICAN HISTORY'; photos and maps: U.S. Civil War Center ()

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