Slavery in the United States was legal in all of the original states, but as time went on Northern States began to abolish it. Compromises were made as new states were brought into the Union. After more territory was added to the US these compromises became increasingly strained. Numerous problems arose as the slave-to-free state balance was disturbed when California became a state in 1850. Then starting in 1854 there was an internal war in Kansas over the decision to be a free state. The slavery issue had also greatly upset the balance of political parties in the 1850s. The Whig party had dissolved because of its inability to tackle the issue and the Republicans took their place with an ideological position of stopping slavery from spreading westward. In the presidential election of 1860 the Democrats split over slavery, leaving the field wide open. Lincoln, the Republican candidate gained from the confusion winning with only 40 percent of the vote South Carolina immediately seceded from the Union. During early 1861 several states joined them forming a confederacy under the leadership of Jefferson Davis. Some slave states remained in the Union. Both Presidents Buchanan and Lincoln failed to bring the Confederate States back. After some previous incidents and Lincoln’s refusal to remove union Troops from the Confederacy, in 1861 South Carolinan militiamen attacked Fort Sumter. This was used as the impetus to start sending Union troops to retake the south. The war had officially begun. There’s a lot to the beginning of this war so if you want to learn more I did a separate video exploring the causation which you can watch here. A Union blockade was erected around the Confederacy forcing them to send goods through Mexico. Then the Union sent its first invasion force towards the Confederate capital of Richmond, VA in June. These campaigns were stiffly resisted only making it as far as Bull Run and the war in the east became one of attrition. Confederate troops were more skillfully utilized by the strategically savvy commanders such as general Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, while the industrial power of the North Kept union troops and supplies coming. Elsewhere after Kentucky declared its neutrality, Tennessee invaded it in 1862. In Kansas Quantrill’s Raiders harassed Union Troops, and the Union managed to conquer the New Mexican territory in March of 1862. Meanwhile General Ulysses S. Grant had sent troops down the Mississippi River cutting the Confederacy off from Mexican trade. It was the final act of the Anaconda plan which was meant to cut off the Confederacy from the outside world. Back in the east the Confederacy in return began trying to invade the Union making it as far as Antietam, where they were defeated. After Union General John C. Fremont preempted Lincoln, the victory of Antietam gave him the excuse to proclaim all slaves inside the Confederate territory officially emancipated. This reinforced the moral cause of the war. Undeterred General Lee launched a second invasion of the Union but a turning point was reached when this ended in his defeat at the battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863. President Lincoln used the opportunity to make an address that became instantly famous and reinvigorated the Union’s morale. Meanwhile New Orleans have been taken by sea in May cutting off the Mississippi and in July after a huge Trench warfare siege, Vicksburg was taken. However by that time conscription had been imposed by both the Confederacy and the Union. This led to massive draft riots in New York for three days right after Gettysburg. Nevertheless Lincoln assigned Grant to the East and in may of 1864 they started pushing into the south, waging a campaign of what he called total war. The push towards Richmond was making headway, but their advance was halted at Petersburg and a nine-month long battle in the trenches ensued. After the final battle of Chattanooga, Tennessee was captured in December of 1863. Union General Sherman seized and burned Atlanta, GA in mid 1864. He began a march to the sea across the state that burned crops and destroyed infrastructure leaving the Confederacy bifurcated and its economy in ruins. The Union passed the Thirteenth Amendment, officially abolishing slavery in the United States in early 1865. A few months later the Union won a decisive victory at the Battle of Five Forks in April 1865. The next Day Petersburg finished and Richmond was encircled. Once Lee saw they had been surrounded he surrendered. The war was over and slavery had been abolished in the US. New technology like the Minie ball, telegraphs, trains and cartridge weapons made it the most deadly war in American history with 700 to 900 thousand people killed. However Lincoln was assassinated within a week of Lee’s surrender and the following decade of reconstruction tried but failed to bring equality to the newly freed slaves and an end to the violence that was related to the desolation left by the Civil War. If you are interested in learning more about why the Civil War began and come over to my channel The Cynical Historian. I did an episode on that. Check out some other stuff while you’re at it. Thanks for watching and thanks to Jabzy for letting me host. Goodbye.