For questions about relatives involved in the US Civil War, or family history events associated with this wartime period. This was a conflict from 1861 to 1865 between the USA and a group of states that seceded to form the Confederate States of America.
By the middle of the nineteenth century, the economy of the United States of America (and its territories) was highly differentiated geographically. Different regions were placed under social and economic stress by changes in world trade.
In 1861, the dissatisfaction felt in southern states with the failure of the federal Congress and the President (Lincoln) to deal with the issues crystallised around the issue of the role of slavery in maintaining large-scale cotton production. Seven states seceded to form the Confederate States of America and declared war on what remained of the USA.
During the period of the war (1861-65) the outlawing of slavery and the emancipation of existing slaves became objectives of the conflict for the forces of the USA (in addition to the original one, preservation of territorial integrity forcing the southerners back into Union).
Economic self-interest ensured that European powers did not intervene and conflict remained internal (and hence called the War between the States). In 1865, the United States prevailed and began an extended period of national Reconstruction.