War of secession

as war of secession (also American civil war, called in the south of the USA as war between the states (Between was the States) or in former times even war of of the northern aggression (OF was Northern aggression)) becomes the militaryConflict in the years 1861 to 1865 between the north states and the Southern States (Konföderation), withdrawn from the United States (union), designates. It was the most involving heavy losses and bloodiest all wars of the USA and apart from the American revolution the only onelarger war on US national territory. Many families had both members, that fought on the side of the north states, and members, that pulled for the Southern States into the battle. It particularly is in the Southern States, whose territory was much more strongly concerned, andthose were finally subject, this very day in the collective memory of the USA very present.


a split country

some months after the choice of Abraham Lincoln in November 1860 withdrew seven states within three months from the union: South Carolina to 20. December 1860; Mississippi to 9. January 1861; Florida to 10. January 1861; Alabama at the 11. January 1861; Georgia to 19. January 1861; Louis IANA to 26. January 1861; and Texas at the 1. February 1861. To 4. February 1861 createdthe first six of these States of (Texas followed to 2. March), in which the cotton plan day economy operated with slave work was an important restaurant factor, an independent state group: the Konföderierten states of America (CSA). Their condition was in the principle of the US-American very similarly, alsoException of the express permission of the slavery. To 12. April 1861 the CSA with the battle opened and occupied over away to Sumter, South Carolina, the open war these and other bases of the USA military in its area. As Lincoln thereupon thoseArmed forces mobilized, in order to back-conquer the bases, withdrew four further Federal States from the union:Virginia (17. April 1861); Arkansas (6. May 1861); Threshing floor lake (6. May 1861) and North Carolina (13. May 1861).

Four „slave states “decided,not from the union to withdraw, and a member state was split. One calls these five states „the border states “(Border States).Delaware, that in the preceeding presidency election fight of Lincoln democratic rival candidate John C. Breckinridge had supported, had only few slaves; Secession did not comein question. At present the beginning of war nobody had believed that the slavery would be ever abolished; the contentious question was only the restriction of their spreading. Also Maryland had been first for Breckinridge, Marylands house of representatives leaned to 27. April 1861 howeverunder pressure the secession off, after it had come to serious unrests and several excesses into Baltimore. These events as well as fear of an invasion of the capital caused the US Government to proclaim the martial law. Missouri and Kentucky remained likewise in thatUnion; both states had however internal rebel governments, that were recognized of the CSA. The governor von Missouri, Claiborne F. Jackson, was sympathizer of the Southern States. It evacuated the capital of Missouri, Jefferson town center, as this from the union Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon to 14. June 1861 was attacked. The situation was precarious for the US Government. If Maryland would have still left the union, then this would have been for the US Government a disaster, there Washington D.C.between Maryland and Virginia become an isolated Exklavewould be, which could have changed the military offensive abilities and the psychological effects of the war process substantially. Even with Maryland on union side the American capital bordered directly on hostile territory. The capital of the CSA, smelling moon, was only some hours with thatCourse of Washington removes.

Karte der Spaltung. Die Unionsstaaten sowie die im Krieg gewonnenen sind blau. Hellblaue Staaten sind nördliche Staaten, die die Sklaverei erlaubten. Die Konföderierten Staaten von Amerika sind rot. Die weißen Gebiete waren damals noch nicht Gliedstaaten.
Map of splitting. The union states as well as in the war the won are blue. Light blue states are northern states, which permitted the slavery. The Konföderierten states of America is red. The white areas were at that time not yet member states.

The government selected in Missouri informed about the conditions of the things and met in the exile in the town Neosho. The Abtrünnigen approved of a secession law, that the CSA to 30. October 1861 recognized (see those to Missouri secession controversy).In the meantime the US Government called up a condition meeting and organized a parallel Missouri government. Finally Missouri remained with the north. For one while Kentucky tried to explain itself for neutral. During a short time followed some southern armed forces,and Southern State sympathizers organized a meeting for the secession and swore a konföderierten governor in. In Virginia humans wanted to remain in the northern Counties with the union; they split themselves off the Federal State Virginia, which left the union. Starting from 1863 becamethis abgespaltene region to the autonomous Federal State west Virginia, which was part of the union and which intention of the gradual Emanzipierung of the black ones pursued.

New Mexico was at that time still no member state, but only territory. The southern half followed the secession,the CSA took up it as Arizona territory with Mesilla as capital. This area was populated of white one only little and played in the war only a subordinated role. California was since its entrance into the union always 1850 a state withoutSlavery been. Lincoln had here a relative, but no absolute majority, and it gave some sympathizers of the Southern States and their presidency candidate to John C. Breckenridge, which had won 28% of the voices. California was considered nevertheless ever as „more north “state. Its soldiers were not subordinated, it sent California to the US Government to the front against the Southern States. In addition the again discovered gold of California financed partially the war. Larger resources brought a clear advantage to the north in the purchase of material from thatForeign country.


Afro-Amerikaner, die in Cold Harbor, Virginia, die Skelette nach einer Schlacht bergen
Afro American, those in Cold Harbor, Virginia, the skeletons after a battle save

the war caught fire from the economic, political and social contrasts of the north and the south. In the north states the industrialization became ever furthercontinued, the north required the abolishment of the slavery of the south. The southnational plan day economy depended however to a large extent on the worker of the slaves. The slavery conflict became however only starting from the second half of the civil war by in such a way specified „Emancipation Proclamation “from Abraham Lincoln to the actual reason for war explains; first the question of the rights of the individual member states was the center of attention.

But also in this point in the core around the argument of two ways into the economic future that was The USA. The economy of the Southern States was based on the export of raw materials (in particular cotton) and the import of Manufakturwaren. Protective duties - as they required the north states for their industries in the structure against the European competition - the prices could for the imported goods only increase. In addition had with preventive measures of the customers of the raw materials (z. B.England) to be counted. How it should go in these points at issue further, in the long run the congress had to decide. Therefore the question became whether into that againbeing added territories slavery permitted or forbidden to be is, to a question, who would have the majority in the following years in the congress - and the schutzzöllnerischen north states rather industrialized or the rather agrarian and freihändlerischen Southern States. This conflict controlled the politicalDiscussion in several important measures since the 1850er years, which became blocked by the congress and therefore the election campaign hits of Lincoln. It concerned national land assignments for unemployed persons as well as for the establishment from higher schools and the building of onetranskontinentalen railway. They should promote growth and the prosperity in the sense of the north states, and but Lincoln as well as its party, the republicans, occurred. These measures had in opinion of the Südstaatler sooner or later to a politicalSupremacy of the north in the congress lead. They could not besides expect that the congress with this majority would provide for the protection of its property, when out their slaves applied for their view in all states of the USA. During an expansiontheir economic activities on the new territories and states they ran the risk that their slaves were treated as free humans, thus z. B. with an escape not by the police were caught and were not again delivered them.

Therefore it came alongthe choice of the republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to 6. November 1860 to the president of the USA for splitting (secession), although Lincoln in the question the slavery had again and again stressed, this is thing of the member states. There at the time at that time between thatChoice and the assumption of office of a president about still in each case four months lay, developed now a dangerous power vacuum, because the voted out, but still acting James Buchanan was not ready for energetic decisions. In the months around the turn of the year explained 1860/61ever more of the slave owner states of the south their withdrawal from the union. To 4. February 1861 in Washington met congress of peace dissolved without result. Already to 6. February met in Montgomery a congress of the dropped states, which to 11. March of the Konföderation in such a way specified their new condition gave. To the president of the Southern States Jefferson Davis was selected. Also Lincoln, only to 4. March 1861 with its assumption of office explanation to react could, failed with its reconciliation efforts. With the conquest of Away Sumter by the southnational troops began finally the open war between the union and the Konföderation.

war process

initial position

the Southern States by an energetic, purpose-conscious, statesmanlike, were led trained aristocracy those the USA sincetheir establishment had dominated. Many officers of the army and the navy originated from the south and followed this, like e.g.P. G. T. Beauregard, Joseph E. John clay/tone, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jonathan Jackson, JamesE. B. Stuart, James Longstreet, Ambrose Powell Hill, Nathan B. Forrest, Leonidas Polk, William Joseph Hardee, Patrick R. Cleburne, Braxton Bragg, John C. Breckinridge, Edmund K. Smith, Jubal A. Early, John B. Gordon, John B. Hood, Daniel H. Hill, Albert S. John clay/tone, William Mahone and Joseph Wheeler. There they organized the armed force of the Konföderation. This was facilitated by the fact that war Minister Floyd already 1860 manyWeapons and cannons into the southern arsenals had sent, while the union fleet over all seas absent-minded was. Therefore the Southern States at the beginning of the war were decided superior to the north.

The population of the north (the border states Maryland, Kentucky, Threshing floor lake, Missouri and. A. behaved) was varying for a preservation of the union. Lincoln called to 15. April 75,000 Freiwillige to the weapons. It was missing to these however at organization. The troops became from the member states, whatever the officersappointed, on time posed. The supreme command completely independent of the war Ministry received first the 75jährige lieutenant general Winfield Scott. Equipment, training and food supply of the union troops were at first unsatisfactory and became only gradually better. Therefore the north suffered despite its numerical superiorityat the beginning of failures.

1862 when first advancing

Mathew Brady, Soldatenfrauen an der Front 1862
the federal troops under Brigadier General Irvin McDowell against

the position of the Konföderation with Manassas Junction the north states in the first battle suffered first half of the civil war Mathew Brady, soldier women at the frontof bulletin run a complete defeat (21. July 1861). Now general George B. the appointed the commander in chief of the north. McClellan broke a camp open at the Potomac River and used autumn and winter in addition, of the states the placedTo train Freiwilligen and militias - over 500.000 men -. Meanwhile by a fast created war fleet the ports of the Southern States were blocked or even occupied. The Konföderation however often succeeded to break the blockades. Southnational cruisers became partially alsoin England equipped, which expected from the secession an equilibrium of power in North America. The arrest of southnational envoys on an English ship by the north states (Trent affair, November 1861), even threatened with the provoked tendency of both parts a warto cause between the union and England.

In the civil war it particularly came 1862 in the west to important decisions. After 1861 had succeeded, to receive Missouri of the union - the population was in the relationship approx. 2:1 for the north - occupiedthe generals George H. Thomas and Ulysses S. Grant in February 1862 also Kentucky and threshing floor lake and advanced the Mississippi River downward. The attempt of the Konföderation, by means of of general the Henry H. Sibley led new Mexico - offensive the southwestand the California Pacific ports to conquer, failed after some short initial successes in April 1862. Admiral Farragut could force the entry meanwhile into the Mississippi delta and new Orleans at the 1. May 1862 occupy. The fight concentrated in the west overof the Konföderation strongly fastened Vicksburg, which for reach, since that 18. May 1863 continuous FE storage to 4. July 1863 was conquered by Grant. With control of the Mississippi the union had the Southern States of Texasand Arkansas cut off.

In Virginia McClellan broke after long hesitating in March 1862 to the peninsula campaign, which planned a landing at the delta of the York Rivers and an advance against the Konföderierten capital smelling moon from the south. Numerous bloody engagements, under itthe filter day battle at the Chickahominy (25. June to 2. July), furnished no crucial result, so that McClellan instructed the retreat against the will of president Lincoln.

General John Pope became in the second battle of bulletin run (29./30. August) struck and withdrew itself after Washington. The konföderierte commander in chief Lee tried now an idea in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and exceeded to 4. September the Potomac with its Army OF Northern Virginia. To 17. Septembers it was stopped with Antietam of McClellan after involving heavy losses fight and forced to the retreat after Virginia.

Since McClellan did not use its victory, he became to 17. November by general Ambrose E. Burnside replaces. It undertook a renewed raidon smelling moon, suffered however to 13. December with Fredericksburg a sensitive defeat. Its successor Joseph Hooker penetrated in April 1863 over the Rapidan, became however in the battle with Chancellorsville (2. - 5. May) likewise of Leedefeated. Lee tried a second idea in Maryland, became however in the bloodiest battle of the whole war with Gettysburg (1. - 3. July) of general George G. Meade over the Potomac back-thrown.

battle of Gettysburg

Many experts regard the battle of Gettysburg as the crucial battle of the American civil war. It occurred between that 1. and that 3. July 1863 with the town Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, only few miles north the border to Maryland. Originally it should according to the föderierten commanders at the small river beeps to Creek (30 km removed) to take place. A division of the Konföderiertengenerals A. P. Hill wanted itself and their III. Corps of shoes from the Örtchen Gettysburg „organize “(the Southern State army suffered chronicallyat lack of footwear). The morning attack turned out from the rudder. The largest battle „of the civil was “took place at a place and at one time, which none of the commanders wanted to have on both sides in such a way. It ended to that with the defeatSouthern State army under general Robert E. Lee and terminated the last offensive of the Southern States on the territory of the north states.

This defeat and simultaneous conquest Vicksburgs formed the turning point of the war. It was not successful the Konföderation, Washington and someTo conquer north states. In the west it had suffered against it large losses and became it apparent with it an exhaustion at money and people forces. The industrialized economy of the north could adjust the losses better.

the end of theWar

simultaneous became also apparent in the north a general war tiredness, which expressed itself every now and then by open meeting with hostility opposite the Afroamerikanern, which served as a scapegoat. Occasionally also the army of the north states was confronted with the problem, not sufficient recruits toohave, in order to replace the past losses. The list of black units („Buffalo Soldiers “) offered a comfortable possibility for the member states of the north of setting up their target being and the problem with the digging question too lindern. This was all the more offered, when many Afroamerikaner already pushed since beginning of war on it, to be recruited on. This was however first rejected, in order to bounce slave owner states, which had remained in the union, not. In the war process this question continued to step ever into the background.

First onlyas safeguard and auxiliary troops assigned, afroamerikanische units placed its high moral and combat capability with the attack on away Wagner to 18. July 1863 under proof. To the end of the war these units placed an important portion of the north state army - their employment was war-crucially. Consequently the north formulated the abolition of the slavery and complete thrashing of the rebellion now open as goals of the war. Lincoln issued to 22. September 1862 a proclamation, which all slaves - however only in the regions underControl of the Konföderation - of the 1. January 1863 on for freely explained. With the presidency election 1864 Lincoln triumphed over the candidates of the democratic party, George B. McClellan; to the vice-president Andrew Johnson was selected.

After the Ulysses S. Grantby a victory in the battle of Chattanooga in November 1863 the supremacy of the north state army in the western theater to strengthen knew, it at the beginning of of 1864 by president Lincoln for by the congress again created the rank lieutenant general was promoted and to commander in chief of allNorth state troops at the western and eastern theaters appointed. To date only the first president George Washington held this military rank in the history of the USA. He handed his western command at his familiar William to T over. Sherman, during George Meade the command over the Army OF the Potomac in the east kept; however under strategic guidance of Grants. At the beginning of of May 1864 continued Grant the advance direction smelling moon and supplied Lee in „the wilderness “(Wilderness) and with Spotsylvaniaa number of bloody engagements with changing success. After a defeat with the attempt to cross the Chickahominy River it tried to attack Petersburg, which it besieged after a futile surprising attempt. Together with the major general operating in the Shenandoah valley Philip Sheridan succeeded it to itfinally in the autumn to break through Lees defensive position with smelling moon and maintain ground on the right bank of the James River.

At the same time general William T penetrated. Sherman from the west in Georgia. It came to numerous war crimes, because aimed civiliansby union troops were attacked. He occupied 1864 Atlanta ( see also Atlanta campaign) in September and marched from there after Savannah at the Atlantic ocean, where he to 21. December drew in and the connection with the union fleet made. In January 1865 movedit by South and North Carolina northward, pulled to 22. March with Goldsboro a union army together and completed at the end of March the containment Lees, which had only 60,000 men under its instruction.

At the 3. The federal troops moved April inPetersburg and smelling moon. Lee resulted to 9. April with Appomattox Court House, John clay/tone and the remainder of the konföderierten threshing floor sea-army to 26. April with Durham station, North Carolina. In May Taylor and Nathan Bedford Forrest gave smelling pool of broadcasting corporations inAlabama up, and Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of the konföderierten troops west Mississippi, capitulated at the beginning of of June. A last group under the guidance of the indianischen Brigadier General conditions Watie laid down in the middle of June 1865 the weapons. Thus was the civil war afterfour years old duration terminates.


in the American civil war died about 600,000 humans. The war costs exceeded 8 billion dollar. The union army counted the fleet of 671 ships at the end of the war over 1 million men.

The oldfederal republic, in which only the post office brought the average citizen in contact with the national government, yielded a centralized community, which directly taxed humans and for the collection of these taxes its own authority furnished, which drew in the men to the army,the competence of the Federal courts expanded, a national currency and a national bank system created and the first national welfare authority [...] furnished. Eleven of the first twelve additives for American condition had cut the authority of the national government; six of the next seven additives, begun with 13. Constitutional amendment of 1865 these authority at expense of the member states stretched.
With this change in the federal equilibrium a shift of the political power of the south accompanied northward.“(McPherson, for which liberty die, S.845f.)


the following of films play at present the war of secession and/or. act of it:


the literature concerning the civil war is hardly to be over-looked. As selection the following volumes should be sufficient, whose comprehensive bibliographies can open further literature.

  • James M. McPherson: For the liberty die. The history of the American civil war,Cunning publishing house Berlin, ISBN 3-471-78178-1, also conception of the world publishing house, Augsburg 2000 the author received for this the Pulitzerpreis. The best in-restrains representation of the war, which deals also in detail with the causes.
  • Shelby Foote, The civil was. A Narrative, 3Bde., New York 1958-1974, ISBN 0-7126-9812-4 very well written representation of the war, although without specializedscientific apparatus.
  • Bernd G. Längin: The American civil war. A chronicle in pictures - day after day. Bechtermünz publishing house, 275 S., ISBN 3-86047-900-8, also conception of the worldPublishing house, Augsburg 1998 richly unfortunately illustrates, but without registers.

see also

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Commons: War of secession - pictures, videos and/or audio files

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