Civil War, U.S.

The Civil War (1861–1865) and its aftermath transformed the social, cultural, political, and economic character of the United States. It would prove to be the deadliest war in American history, costing more lives than all other American wars put together. The human cost alone would have a tremendous impact in the North and especially the South, but the war also transformed the Northern economy, destroyed the economic and social structure of the South when it ended slavery, and preserved the American Union. This entry explores these issues by first reviewing the background and causes of the Civil War and then discussing the complex and lasting effect of the war upon the societies of the North and the South.

Causes of the Civil War

Scholars have long agreed ...

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