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The Republican Party was determined to prevent any spread of slavery, and many Southern leaders had threatened secession if the Republican candidate, Lincoln, won the 1860 election.After Lincoln won, many Southern leaders felt that disunion was their only option, fearing that the loss of representation would hamper their ability to promote pro-slavery acts and policies.The Republican Party, dominant in the North, secured a plurality of the popular votes and a majority of the electoral votes nationally, thus Lincoln was constitutionally elected president.

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However, before his inauguration, seven slave states with cotton-based economies declared secession and formed the Confederacy.

The first six to declare secession had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, a total of 49 percent.

Much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed, especially the transportation systems.

The Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, and 4 million slaves were freed. The Southern states viewed this as a violation of their constitutional rights and as the first step in a grander Republican plan to eventually abolish slavery.Later, in 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal.To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy, then much of their western armies, and seized New Orleans. Inflicting an ever-tightening naval blockade of Confederate ports, the Union marshaled the resources and manpower to attack the Confederacy from all directions, leading to the fall of Atlanta to William T. The last significant battles raged around the Siege of Petersburg.As a result of the long-standing controversy over slavery, war broke out in April 1861, when Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina, shortly after U. The Union finally won the war when General Robert E. Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House, followed by a series of surrenders by Confederate generals throughout the southern states. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States, who advocated for states' rights to expand slavery. The Confederacy grew to include eleven slave states. (including the border states where slavery was legal) were known as the Union or the North.The 1863 Union Siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. Lee's Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg. Lee's escape attempt ended with his surrender at Appomattox Court House, on April 9, 1865.

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