Civil War

Almost 160 years ago, from 1861 to 1865, the American Civil War occurred.

Every time there’s a civil war, it’s because there are different sides, or warring factions, that both claim allegiance to the same country.

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1. Republicans were opposed to slavery in all territories.

Question 1 of 2

2. How many states formed in the Confederacy?


Question 2 of 2


This lesson is provided by Onsego GED Prep.

Next Lesson: The Civil War Ends
This lesson is a part of our GED Social Studies Guide

Video Transcription

The conflict between the North and the South grew. The people in the South thought that abolitionists would be starting slave rebellions, and some Southerners preferred to quit the Union.

Northerners, on the other hand, were afraid that slavery would spread, and some Americans who were opposed to slavery started to form the Republican Party.

Republicans were opposed to slavery in all territories, and Abraham Lincoln was also a Republican, though he was born in a slave state, Kentucky. Lincoln was raised, however, on an Illinois farm and Illinois was a free state.

He came from a low-income family and didn’t go to school. But Lincoln was reading very much and later, after becoming a lawyer, went on to be a political leader.

Lincoln’s Campaigns

Lincoln ran in Illinois for Senate in 1858 against Stephen Douglas. The two men debated in public, so everybody was able to learn about their ideas. Douglas demanded popular sovereignty in the territories, and he didn’t think slavery was a wrong thing. Lincoln, on the other hand, thought of slavery as evil though he wasn’t supportive of abolition.

Lincoln lost the election, but his debates had made him a famous man. Many Southerners were thinking that Lincoln favored slavery abolition.

In 1860, Lincoln was running for President. He was actually the only candidate who was against slavery. Lincoln won the election, but it also made clear how divided the country was.

There wasn’t one southern state that voted for him, and there were southerners that said that the federal government had become too strong.

They claimed that the laws that limited slavery and the tariffs were threatening the states’ rights, and some southern states decided for secession to protect the right to keep slaves.

Begin of Secession

South Carolina said goodbye to the Union in 1860. In total, 11 southern states then formed the Confederacy, and the President was Jefferson Davis.

Lincoln favored peace and unity, but it was already too late. In 1862, on April 12th, Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter, and Lincoln called for soldiers and men to fight the Southern rebellion. The Civil War had begun.

Last Updated on February 15, 2024.