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  • A political movement that favors the autonomy and sovereignty of a nation that is presently a part of a larger sovereign state. Separatist movements are often based on ethnic, cultural, religious, or economic lines. Separatist movements can have the potential to lead to revolution and secession. For example, separatism was the leading cause of the American Civil War (1861–1865). The North and South had a major economic difference over the dependence on the institution of slavery for the health of the regional economy (Southern cotton plantations). Following the election in 1860 of the Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln (who did not win one Southern electoral vote), South Carolina, followed by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas, seceded from the Union. In recent world history, separatism ...

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