The Civil War

The American Civil War took place from 1861 to 1865. It was a fight between the northern and southern parts of the United States. The main issue was slavery. Slavery means a group of people are forced to work for other people without getting paid. The North and the South had different ideas about it, and that caused a lot of problems.

Why Did They Fight?

The North and the South had different economic systems. The North had factories and people were paid to work. In the South, there were big farms called plantations where cotton and other crops were grown. The owners of these plantations used enslaved people to work the fields and take care of the house. This made the North and the South disagree with each other.

What Started the War?

The war started because the Southern states didn't want to be part of the United States anymore. They wanted to do things differently including keeping slavery. In addition, the North and South did not agree on some cultural values and economic policies. As a result, the South formed their own country called the Confederate States of America. The states that were part of the Confederacy included Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. The fighting began when the South attacked a place called Fort Sumter.

What Happened During the War?

The war lasted for a long time, and there were many battles. Some of the big ones were at Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, and Vicksburg. Both sides had a lot of soldiers who got hurt or lost their lives in these battles. The North had a plan to stop the South from getting supplies by blocking their ports, and General Sherman marched through the South destroying things.

The Changing Goals

At first, the North just wanted to keep the country together. But things changed after President Lincoln made a big announcement called the Emancipation Proclamation. This said that enslaved people in the South were free, ending slavery in the United States in 1865.

How Did the War End?

Finally, the war ended in April 1865. The Confederate states surrendered to the North. Afterward, a time called Reconstruction occurred. This was when the country had to fix things and make peace.


The Civil War was a tough time for America, but it showed that the country could stay together even during hard times. It also ended slavery in the United States.

Source: The Civil War
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