Academic journal article Making Connections

Editor's Introduction

Academic journal article Making Connections

Editor's Introduction

Article excerpt

Approximately 150 years ago, on April 12, 1861, the Civil War began when troops from South Carolina bombarded Fort Sumter and demanded the lowering of the American flag. Although many have claimed that the war was fought over states' rights, the continuation of slavery in the United States was the central issue to be decided by this war. Southerners feared that new non-slave states joining the union and the election of anti-slavery president Abraham Lincoln would upset the balance of power between north and south, and many states seceded from the Union to preserve their slave economy. On January 1st, 1863, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which granted freedom to slaves in the Confederate States. The bloody war lasted for four years, taking its toll of more than 600,000 lives on both sides, and ended when Robert E. Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865. Slavery was later abolished throughout the United States with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment on December 6th, 1865, after the war's end.

In many states throughout the country from 2011 to 2015, lectures, exhibits, and reenactments are planned to remember the Civil War. These events have been cataloged on a website developed by the Civil War Trust at http://www.civilwar. …

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