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What were the two sides in the American Civil War?

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Quick Answer

The two sides involved in the American Civil War were the Union, which represented the North, and the Confederacy, which represented the South. There were numerous reason behind why each side's soldiers fought for one side or the other.

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What were the two sides in the American Civil War?
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Full Answer

The North and its troops originally fought because they felt the South had no legal right to secede from the Union and was close to treason. As it seemed that the North might lose the war as well as support, ending slavery became the new focus of the war, rallying new support for the North. The South and its soldiers fought for state rights and to defend themselves from the North, but soon the point of slavery became a factor in the South as well, even before it became a rally cry in the North.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How did sectionalism lead to the American Civil War?

    A:

    In the years prior to the American Civil War, a separate sense of cultural, political and economic identity developed and took hold between the North and the South that helped lead to the conflict. Sectionalism, which refers to loyalty to a section of a nation rather than to the nation as a whole, contributed to a Southern identity based not only on a distinctively different way of life, but on a geographically shared mistrust and apprehension towards the Northern way of life represented by the federal government and the election of United States President Abraham Lincoln. By the time of the election, the South had already developed its own sense of regional nationalism, based on a slave-labor agrarian economic system, that felt threatened by the anti-slavery stance of the heavily-industrialized North.

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  • Q:

    What started the Civil War?

    A:

    The American Civil War was primarily fought over differences of opinion about the right of the federal government to determine whether slavery was legal in individual states; the hostile action that started the actual war was the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in South Carolina, which occurred on April 12, 1861. The secession of seven Southern states after the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as president triggered the war.

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  • Q:

    What year did the Civil War end?

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    The American Civil War officially ended on April 9, 1865. On this day, Confederate General Robert E. Lee formally surrendered to Union leader Ulysses S. Grant.

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  • Q:

    What were other names for the North and South in the Civil War?

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    The South side of the American Civil War became its own nation, called the Confederate States of America, or the Confederacy for short, while the North remained the United States of America and was called the Union. The South was also called Dixie, a nod to the Mason-Dixon line.

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