The US Civil War

  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Slavery is often viewed as the principle cause of the American Civil War. However, cultural clashes such as the Kansas Nebraska Act, technological and economic development, and legislation were major factors in both causation and effects of the Civil War. Therefore, the Civil War's historical importance reaches far beyond African American implications.
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    The US Civil War

  • Garner Case

    Margaret Garner, a slave escaped from Ohio with her three children faces reinput into the slave life. In her fear of capture, she attempts to murder her three children to save them from lives as slaves. She only succeeds with her daughter, leaving her two sons only injured when she is returned as a slave under the Fugitive Slave Law.
  • John Brown, "Bleeding Kansas"

    During an antislavery uprising in Kansas, abolitionist and proslavery advocate, John Brown, murders five proslavery advocates and does it without capture or punishment.
  • Dred Scott v. Sanford

    In a 7-2 Supreme Court vote, slavery is declared as protected by the Constitution, and any state who tries to declare it illegal is diobeying the Constitution. Nearly every judge in favor of this ruling is a southerner.
  • Lincoln Douglas Debates

    A four month period of debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas, arguing the state of the union and how a "house divided cannot stand" and how this ceaseless fighting could lead to a complete change in the Union.
  • Democratic Split

    A large split within the Democratic party, mainly southern delegates whom split during the June Democratic Convention.
  • Lincoln elected

    Resulting in Lincoln's election, for many southerners the election of 1860 was the final straw in the series of events that led up to the Civil War, resulting in the secession of southern states shortly after the election.
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    Multiple States Secede from the Union, Creating the Confederacy

    South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas secede from the Union and create the Confederacy, electing Jefferson Davis as their first and last president.
  • Railroads

    Railroads made a massive difference during the Civil War, but the Union had a massive advantage when it came to them over the Confederacy. Since many railways were still being built, the North had 22,000 miles of railroad, and the South had a dismal 9,000 miles. The North's abundant access to the railroad gave them the advantage of easy access to restocking of supplies for the army.
  • The Telegraph

    During the Civil War, former President Lincoln was the first president to communicate with his troops on the battlefield via telegraph. He was able to discuss strategy in real time with his troops and figure out their standings in the war. This was a massive advantage and changed the way the war was fought.
  • Confederacy Formed

    Representatives from southern states met in Alabama in 1861, and officially formed the government of the Confederacy. They elected Jefferson Davis as president.
  • Battle of Fort Sumter

    This attack was launched by southern forces against the Union Fort Sumter, located near Charleston. This violent outbreak pushed the two cultures over the edge, and is widely recognized as the catalyst that started the war.
  • Declaration of War

    On April 19th, Lincoln signed a document that responded to the Battle of Fort Sumter by issuing a blockade on all southern ports. The Supreme Court ruled that this qualified as an official declaration of war by the Union.
  • Writ of Habeas Corpus

    Congress officially suspended the writ of Habeas Corpus for "public safety" and to prevent rebellion. This constituted an uprecedented display of federal power, and also demonstrated how desperate the Union was.
  • "Cornerstone"

    The "Cornerstone" speech was uttered by Alexander Stephen, the vice president of the new Confederacy, and described the mentality of the Confederates: that the black man was inherently inequal to the white man.
  • Battle of Philippi

    Although this battle was relatively small and resulted in no causualties, it was the first battle of the war (Fort Sumter ocurred before war had been officially declared).
  • First Battle of Bull Run

    This battle was the first significant battle in the Civil War, involving 50,000 men and almost 5,000 casualties. The Confederacy managed to drive the Union army out of Manassas, resulting in their victory and an end to hopes for a quick and bloodless war.
  • Confiscation Act

    Congress passed this act allowing Union soldiers to seize any Confederate property used in their war efforts. This was passed mainly to combat the Confederacy's use of slaves- under the act, Union soldiers could confiscate slaves, take them back to the Union, and free them.
  • Joint Committee on the Conduct of War

    Congress established the Joint Committee on the Conduct of War after the Union experienced several humiliating defeats. The committee was to investigate the running of the war in all aspects.
  • Hot Air Balloons

    Thaddeus Lowe designed tough material air balloons specifically for Civil War combat. Balloons were used by both sides, but the Union had much more advanced aerodynamic fighting tehniques.
  • Battle of Fort Henry

    Although the western front is often neglected, the Battle of Fort Henry was the first major Union victory on the western theater. It cleared the path for Union forces to capture Nashville, an important southern center.
  • Legal Tender Act

    This act came in response to the Union's struggles to raise enough money for an army. It allowed the US government to issue millions of dollars in new currency in hopes of revitalizing the Union economy.
  • Battle of Pea Ridge

    Confederate forces advanced into Missouri, hoping to capture the city of Saint Louis. They were repelled by the Union army, solidifying the Union's power on the western stage and ensuring that Missouri would remain in Union hands.
  • Battle of Shiloh

    Although resulting in Union victory, the Battle of Shiloh was devastating to both the Union and the Confederacy. It resulted in 24,000 casualties, and ended all northern hopes of ending the war quickly. It also gave General Grant his reputation, setting the stage for his appointment.
  • Confederacy Conscription Act

    This act allowed the Confederacy to enlarge their forces by drafting young men. There were loopholes, however, and the act angered southerners who had gone to war in hopes of greater rights.
  • Homestead Act

    Even in the midst of war, Republicans continued to look west. This act gave 160 acres of land to all "homesteaders" in the western states.
  • Second Battle of Bull Run

    This battle, which resulted in a sound victory for the Confederacy, was fought on the same ground as the First Battle of Bull Run. It set up Lee's troups for their march into Union territory, which would result in some of the most influential battles of the Civil War.
  • Battle of Antietam

    The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest day in American history, with over 20,000 casualties. It ended indecisively, with Lee withdrawing to Virginia and the Union troups failing to pursue them. It's effects were devastating for both armies.
  • Battle of Fredericksburg

    The Battle of Fredericksburg was one of the largest battle in the Civil War. It resulted in decisive Confederate victory, with the Union sustaining twice as many casualties, and significantly raised southern morale, lengthening the war.
  • "Repeaters"

    "Repaters" were a huge advance in fighting technology for the North. These rifles were the first of their kind: being able to fire off multiple rounds without needing reloadingafter each one. The most famous used during the civil war was the Spencer Carbine, a rifle capable of firing seven rounds in 30 seconds.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which legally freed all slaves in the United States. Its passage was more symbolic than effective, as the south, of course, refused to give up their slaves.
  • Union Conscription Act

    This act allowed the Union government to draft men between the ages of 20 and 45 in a desperate attempt to enlarge the Union ranks.
  • Seige of Vicksburg

    The Seige of Vicksburg was a Union assault on the city of Vicksburg, a key strategic point on the Mississippi River. The Union's victory opened the Mississippi to Union traffic and cut the western Confederacy off from the east.
  • Battle of Gettysburg

    Union General Meade managed to turn back Lee's invasion of the north at the Battle of Gettysburg. However, it was one of the most devastating battles of the war, with over 20,000 casualties. The Union's victory marked a turning point of the war and brought the end in sight.
  • Battle of Chattanooga

    The Union victory in the Battle of Chattanooga, Tennessee gave them access to a vital railroad hub and the deep south. It would open the doors for Union armies to infiltrate the south in Sherman's march to the sea and the capture of Atlanta.
  • Submarines

    Submarines became popular during the Civil War, especially with the Confederacy because they had access to them. One documented use of Submarines during the war was when the Confederate sub, C.S.S Hunley, sunk a Union blockade ship on the coast of some Confederate posts.
  • General Grant Appointed

    Lincoln appointed Ulysses Grant as the commander of the Union army. He oversaw the final year of the Civil War and helped negotiate its end.
  • Battle of Atlanta

    General Sherman defeated Confederate troups in the Battle of Atlanta, beginning his march to the sea and seriously demoralizing Confederate armies. It is also likely that Sherman's victory was the determining factor in allowing Lincoln to be reelected.
  • Election of 1864

    Lincoln was reelected in the election of 1864, ensuring that the Union would continue its efforts to win the Civil War.
  • Battle of Nashville

    The Battle of Nashville was the last major battle in the western theater, marking a Union victory and securing the Union's control of that front. It foreshadowed the victory soon to come in the east.
  • Battle of Appomattox

    The deciding battle of the Civil War, the Union and Confederate armies finally confronted one another after the Appomattox Campaign. The Battle of Appomattox resulted in suprisingly light human casualties, but it marked the death of the Confederacy. Generals Grant and Lee would meet in the Appomattox Courthouse to sign a treaty, and the Confederacy formally surrendered on April 12.
  • Conclusion

    Therefore, the Civil War's historical importance reaches far beyond African American implications and changed the identities and beliefs of the people at that time. A similar time when this occured was during the French Revolutionary war.A war in which the French uprooted the absolute monarchy within France, and redefined the French population and the way they were governed, incidentally changing the way the French lived their lives.
  • Extra Point Question

    How did the occurence of the Southern states secession inflame the war and change the outcome? Did the timing really matter or was it more the act?