A Nation Divided
There were many causes of the Civil War in antebellum America, including states' rights, sectionalism, and slavery. Slavery, however, connected each of the other causes of the War. It became more important and necessary after the invention of the cotton gin in 1793 made separating seed from cotton bolls easier. The expansion of slavery into the western territories and the Dred Scott decision further divided the North and South, leading the country to war.
The Industrial Revolution was a period of unprecedented technological advancements which changed the means of producing textiles and metals, and introduced the factory labor system. It began in England and soon spread to the United States, predominantly in the Northern region.
Bleeding Kansas was a proxy war between Southerners and Northerners over the issue of slavery in the territory of Kansas and the state of Missouri. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 nullified the Missouri Compromise, an act that allowed Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state and Maine as a free state. The Kansas-Nebraska Act allowed the people of the territory to vote on whether or not slavery would be legal in the state. This idea is known as Popular Sovereignty. The Missouri Compromise also established that the status of future states would be determined by the state's location north or south of the 36⁰30' parallel.
The sixteenth president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln served two terms and led the nation during the American Civil War. He was assassinated on Friday, April 14, 1865.
The first and only president of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis was a representative and senator from the state of Mississippi before becoming the president of the Confederacy.
A West Point graduate from Illinois, Ulysses S. Grant served as the General-In-Chief of the United States Army and was later president of these United States.
Robert E. Lee graduated second in his class at West Point and he served as an engineer in the U.S. Army. When the Civil War began, Lee resigned his commission with the U.S. Army and became General of the Army of Northern Virginia, and later commander-in-chief of all Confederate forces.
General William T. Sherman served as a General in the Union Army during the Civil War. Sherman is infamous for his scorched-earth policy and his use of this strategy during the Atlanta Campaign.
Trained at the U.S. Military Academy, Joseph E. Johnston served as a general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Johnston commanded the Army of Tennessee during much of the Atlanta Campaign. Confederate President Jefferson Davis replaced Johnston will General John Bell Hood in July 1864.
Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in Litchfield, Connecticut and remains one of the most famous abolitionists in American history. In 1852, Stowe published her book Uncle Tom's Cabin depicting the treatment of slaves in the American South. This publication served as a rallying point and roused further debate about the institution of slavery.
Frederick Douglass was into slavery in Maryland. He escaped to New York around age twenty. Douglass would go on to become the most famous abolitionist in the United States. He was famous for his oratory skills and for his various written works, including Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave and Life and Times of Frederick Douglass.
Born in December 1805 in Massachusetts, William Lloyd Garrison was a famous American social reformer. While his contributions to the women's suffrage movement are noted, Garrison is famous for his work as an abolitionist. He is most well-known for his service as editor of the Liberator, an anti-slavery newspaper.
Did You Know?
Today Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield preserves the locations of and commemorates the major events associated with the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. It is the only National Park Service property that commemorates the Atlanta Campaign.