What was the American Civil War, what started it? Civil war facts for kids

Let's check out to learn more about the American Civil War and find out what was the Civil War, what started the Civil War, Civil War history, soldiers, pictures, battles, America Civil War, Civil War facts, facts about Civil War for kids. History facts.

Civil War Facts For Kids and History

What was the Civil War?

The American Civil War history

The American Civil War

The Civil War is the central event in America's historical consciousness. The Civil War profoundly shaped the United States as we know it today.

When was the Civil War fought?

The war began when the Confederates bombarded Union soldiers at Fort Sumter, South Carolina on April 12, 1861.  The war ended in Spring, 1865.  Robert E. Lee surrendered the last major Confederate army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865.  The last battle was fought at Palmito Ranch, Texas, on May 13, 1865.  

What caused or what started the Civil War?

While many still debate the ultimate causes of the Civil War, Pulitzer Prize-winning author James McPherson writes that, "The Civil War started because of uncompromising differences between the free and slave states over the power of the national government to prohibit slavery in the territories that had not yet become states. When Abraham Lincoln won election in 1860 as the first Republican president on a platform pledging to keep slavery out of the territories, seven slave states in the deep South seceded and formed a new nation, the Confederate States of America. The incoming Lincoln administration and most of the Northern people refused to recognize the legitimacy of secession. They feared that it would discredit democracy and create a fatal precedent that would eventually fragment the no-longer United States into several small, squabbling countries."

Slavery was the central source of escalating political tension in the 1850s. The Republican Party was determined to prevent any spread of slavery, and many Southern leaders had threatened secession if the Republican candidate, Lincoln, won the 1860 election. After Lincoln won without carrying a single Southern state, many Southern whites felt that disunion had become their only option, because they thought that they were losing representation, which would hamper their ability to promote pro-slavery acts and policies.

The American Civil War Map Battles

The America Civil War Map

Where was the Civil War fought?

The Americna Civil War was fought in thousands of different places, from southern Pennsylvania to Texas; from New Mexico to the Florida coast.  The majority of the fighting took place in the states of Virginia and Tennessee.  The Civil War was also contested on the Atlantic Ocean as far off as the coast of France, the Gulf of Mexico, and the brown water of the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

How many soldiers fought in the Civil War?

At the beginning of the war the Northern states had a combined population of 22 million people. The Southern states had a combined population of about 9 million. This disparity was reflected in the size of the armies in the field. The Union forces outnumbered the Confederates roughly two to one.

How many soldiers died in the Civil War?

Approximately 620,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War. This number comes from an 1889 study of the war performed by William F. Fox and Thomas Leonard Livermore. Both men fought for the Union. Their estimate is derived from an exhaustive study of the combat and casualty records generated by the armies over five years of fighting.  A recent study puts the number of dead as high as 850,000.

The American Civil War history soldiers

The American Civil War soldiers

How many soldiers died in the Civil War as compared to other American wars?

Roughly 1,264,000 American soldiers have died in the nation's wars, 620,000 in the Civil War and 644,000 in all other conflicts.  It was only as recently as the Vietnam War that the amount of American deaths in foreign wars eclipsed the number who died in the Civil War.

Who won the Civil War?

The Northern armies were victorious, and the rebellious states returned to the Union.

Who ran in the election of 1860?

The election of 1860 was one of the most unusual in American history. In a four-way race brought on by a split in the Democratic Party, Abraham Lincoln's name did not even appear on the ballot in most Southern states.  In the electoral college, Lincoln solidly carried the free states of the Northeast and Northwest. Breckenridge won the slaveholding states, with the exception of Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky in the Upper South, which went to Bell.  Douglas, though he made a solid showing in the popular vote, only took electoral votes from Missouri and New Jersey.

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