The Civil War

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The Civil War The Civil War was fought between the Southern and the Northern states. The Southern states were trying to preserve slavery, and an agricultural way of life while the Northern states were dedicated to a more modern way of life and to ending slavery.

In colonial times, most Americans regarded slavery as a necessary evil. The Founding Fathers of the United States had been unable to abolish slavery and compromised over it in writing the constitution. By the early 1800's, many Northerns had come to view slavery as wrong. Abolitionists in the north began a movement to end it. An antislavery minority also existed in the south, but most Southerners found slavery to be highly profitable and in time came to consider it good. From a fourth to a third of all Southern whites were members of slaveholding families. About half the families owned fewer than five slaves, and less than one percent of the families owned 100 or more slaves.

Even many of the white Southerners who did not own slaves supported slavery. They accepted the ideas that the south's economy would collapse without slavery and that blacks were inferior to whites.

However, The Kansas Nebraska Act was passed by congress in 1854. Like the compromise of 1850, it dealt with the problem of slavery in new territories. The act created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska and allowed slavery in them. The act also provided that when the people of each territory organized as a state, they could decide by popular vote wheter to have slavery continued.

In the North after the attack on Fort Sumter, Abraham Lincoln boldly ordered troops to put down the rebellion, increased the size of the U.S. Army, declared a naval blockade of the south, and spent funds without congressional approval.

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