The Civil War confirmed the single political entity of the United States, led to freedom for more than four million enslaved Americans, established a more powerful and centralized federal government, and laid the foundation for America's emergence as a world power in the 20th century.
Though freedom did not lead to equality for former slaves, the Civil War initiated immense constitutional changes that re-defined the nature of American society and acted as a point of departure in the struggle for equal civil and human rights.
Stories from Consequences
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Booker T Washington National Monument
Though the end of the Civil War brought the 13th Amendment, ending slavery and providing emancipation for more than four milllion enslaved people, the Reconstruction era during which Booker T. Washington came of age witnessed legislation that attempted to limit African Americans' new found freedoms. Read more
No president up to that point in American history was called on to be commander-in-chief like Abraham Lincoln. From monitoring the War Department telegraph office to selecting of commanding generals and developing military strategy, Lincoln guided the nation through its darkest hour. Read more
Fort Davis National Historic Site
Following the Civil War, permanent African American regiments were constructed in the United States Army. Although segregated due to race, these regiments served with honor and distinction, and helped to tame the Wild West. Read more
The somber aftermath of Civil War battles introduced Americans--North and South--to death on an unprecedented scale and of an unnatural kind, often ending in an unmarked grave far from home. Neither individuals, nor institutions, nor governments were prepared to deal with death on such a massive scale, for never before or since have we killed so many of our own. The Civil War revolutionized the American military's approach to caring for the dead, leading to our modern culture of reverence for military death. Read more
Maggie L Walker National Historic Site
Maggie L. Walker led the African American community of Richmond, Virginia, in many aspects. She was involved in the struggle for civil rights and maintained her successful banking and newspaper businesses and charitable societies. Read more