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Questions tagged [american-civil-war]

the civil war that took place between the northern and southern states of the United States between 1861-65.

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11
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5answers
3k views

Does Grant's use of attrition tactic support his reputation as a general?

In 1864, General Ulysees S. Grant began the "final campaign" against Richmond using a war of attrition. That's because of the Union's 2-to-1 numerical advantage against a qualitatively superior ...
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6answers
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Why did the southern states secede from the U.S.?

Lincoln's election precipitated the secession, but didn't they have enough congressional power to continue things much as they were? It seems in the preceding two decades the slave states had managed ...
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Was the secession of the Confederate states illegal?

Putting aside their reasons for wanting to do so and all the emotional responses they would provoke, was the secession of states from the Union to eventually form the Confederacy an illegal act in ...
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7answers
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Why did Lincoln's election prompt the Southern states to secede?

I've just finished Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals. The presentation of the book suggested that the Southern states seceded as a response to Lincoln's election. I am confused by that timing: ...
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3answers
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What portion of Northerners were against slavery for humanitarian reasons in 1860 America?

In a Civil war History class, I heard that the percentage of people who favored the abolition of slavery was quite low in the North. Furthermore I understand that, at the time, some of the main ...
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5answers
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What is the context of Lincoln saying: “if I could save the union without freeing any slave I would do it”

Lincoln said (emphasis mine): Executive Mansion, Washington, August 22, 1862. Hon. Horace Greeley: Dear Sir. I have just read yours of the 19th. addressed to myself through the New-York ...
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6answers
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Mystery of the many-loaded muzzles

I recall, way back in high school, someone came to describe the American Civil War, show local artifacts, that sort of thing. I remember them mentioning that muzzle-loaded weapons had been found with ...
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5answers
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Was the American Civil War the first to include multiple multi-day battles?

Looking at wikipedia reveals that there were plenty of multi-day battles in the American Civil War. I looked at its article on the Crimean War, which as far as I know was the previous significant ...
6
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1answer
603 views

American presidents on secession legality?

I am writing article (in Russian) on secession legality, and would like to include and analyze expressed opinions of antebellum American Presidents on the subject. My favorite is Andrew Jackson’s ...
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7answers
2k views

Has the American Civil War led to any significant innovations in 19th-century warfare?

The American Civil War (1861–1865) was a major conflict with a long string of battles. Has it led to any innovations in 19th-century warfare? It has been pointed out that it may have been the first ...
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5answers
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What did the Emancipation Proclamation exactly do?

I'm a bit confused about what Lincoln's proclamation did exactly. It's thought by some the Emancipation Proclamation gave all slaves the status of free. However from reading the introduction of the ...
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4answers
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Founding Fathers and the American Civil War

I was reading an article and was wondering if there is anything out there to indicate that the Founding Fathers saw the potential for conflict regarding these specific points: Economic and ...
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5answers
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Was slavery really on the way out in the antebellum USA?

Gail Jarvis, in an encomium to the Dunning School writes: William A. Dunning fervently opposed slavery but his reading of the trends of the times led him to the conclusion that the institution ...
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2answers
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Why did the Monitor and Merrimac (aka Virginia) have such radically different designs?

This is something that's always baffled me. You have one ship that appears to sit just above the water with one little canon on a turret (the Monitor) and a second that sits high and is brimming with ...
13
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3answers
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What percentage of men, ages 18 to 35, from the northern states served in the Union Army?

In my genealogy research, I can assume with some certainty that if a white southern family had sons born between 1835 and 1846 there is a pretty good chance that all of them will have served in the ...
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6answers
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Did the Founding Fathers believe that states had the right to secede?

This question is a follow-up to the Founding Fathers and the Civil War question. Although the Constitution dictates how a state may join the Union, there is no written provision for secession. Did ...
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2answers
394 views

The first use of submarines, and the appearance of “modern” submarines

The first submarines surfaced (excuse the pun) during or around the American Civil War. The question I have comes in a few parts: Did the submarines seen in the American Civil War prompt any change ...
49
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12answers
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Why did Civil War officers tell their men to “aim low”?

I'm listening to Gettysburg by Stephen W. Sears and the officers on both sides seem to always exhort their men to "aim low". For instance, General John Gibbon told his 2nd Division infantry: Do ...
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4answers
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Why did the north and south struggle to control the territories before the American Civil War?

Why was it even important to them that one extra state would be added to their collection? Couldn't they just let Kansas and Nebraska decide for themselves under the doctrine of "Popular Sovereignty"? ...
19
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6answers
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What reasons did the Confederacy have for believing they would have a quick victory?

At the beginning of the U.S. Civil War, both sides were very confident in a quick and easy victory. I can see why the North would think so: they had a better trained army, better infrastructure (...
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3answers
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Is it true that slavery was banned from discussion on the Senate and/or House floor before the American Civil War?

In one of the latter years of my undergraduate program I read/heard from one of my classes that discussing the slave trade/slavery on either the Senate and/or House floor (I forget which) was banned. ...
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1answer
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Why were US “Cavalry” belt buckle backs filled with lead?

Growing up I heard it was so if need be you could swing them as a weapon at the end of the belt. I even heard soldiers would melt bullets to add more lead to their buckle to make it a better weapon. ...
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8answers
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Emancipation Proclamation in a tweet

Today is the 155th anniversary of the signing (but not the release) of the Emancipation Proclamation. Critics remarked even at the time that it didn't free a single slave, since it only applied to ...
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3answers
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Why did Union troops like General McClellan?

I have read that when President Lincoln dismissed General McClellan for the second time (after he didn't try to beat Lee to Richmond in 1862), the troops almost mutinied (The Civil War by Shelby Foote ...
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1answer
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What did sectionalism have to do with the American civil war? [closed]

I've been writing an essay for school and I've been wondering what did sectionalism have to do with the American Civil War? Does sectionalism include the Missouri Compromise and the breaking away of ...
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3answers
452 views

What are exceptions to the hypothesis that “climate determined ”regional“ loyalties in the U.S. Civil War”?

Besides the fact that "North" implies "cold," and "South implies "hot," I was struck by the fact that Lincoln won absolute majorities (in a four way race) in 16 states wholly or partially above the ...
5
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3answers
546 views

During the 1850’s and 60’s, was the free North (and its cause in the U.S. Civil War) considered more virtuous than the slave-holding South?

During the 1850’s and 60’s, was the free North (and its cause in the U.S. Civil War) considered more virtuous than the slave-holding South? Do we find authors or politicians in the U.K. or France ...
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3answers
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What portion of tariffs was paid by Southern states before American Civil War?

My question is very narrow and specific: I am looking for records on value of imported goods unloaded at Northern ports (predominantly NY) and subsequently transported to South and sold to Southern ...