The Civil War
The Civil War began after Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 presidential election. He and his fellow Republicans openly opposed the expansion of slavery into non-slave states.
In early 1861, shortly before Lincoln’s inauguration, seven slave states seceded from the Union and formed the Confederacy. Despite calls for compromise, both sides were unable to agree on a deal and finally Confederate forces seized Fort Sumter, formerly held by the Union’s South Carolina.
This was the beginning of four years of a deadly war that left over 600,000 soldiers dead by its end. Eventually, by destroying the Confederate infrastructure and fighting a tragic battle of attrition, the Confederate army collapsed and the secession was officially over by the summer of 1865.