American Civil War – Summary

The War of Secession, also known as the American Civil War, was the most violent and costly but also the most fundamental step in the national development of the United States of America.


The cause of the war was a deep social and political split between the two camps, especially on the “slave question”. While the Northern states were in favour of abolishing slave farming, the South did not want to do without slaves on the plantations. After the Republican Abraham Lincoln (a staunch opponent of slavery) was elected President of the USA in 1860, the 11 Southern states thereupon declared their withdrawal from the Union (secession). They founded the Confederate States of America with Jefferson Davis as President. When Lincoln declared that he considered the Union indivisible, the Confederacy launched the War of Secession on April 12, 1861.
The Civil War was the first war in which the new technical achievements were used. The telegraph enabled a fast reporting system, the railway was able to move armies quickly from one place to another, on the water armoured ships fought against each other and the first use of submarines under combat conditions took place. In the long run, the superiority of the north in terms of population and economic power became noticeable. The Battle of Gettysburg from 1 – 4.7.1863 marked the turning point in the civil war. After further successes of the north the southern states had to capitulate to the northern states on 9. 4.1865.
The war, which lasted four years, cost the lives of about 620,000 people and three million soldiers went into battle.

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