Confederate States of America

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Timeline of the Confederate States, 1860 – 1870.

The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Confederate States (C.S. or CS) or the Confederacy, was a republic formed from the secession of seven southern states of the United States in 1861, mainly over the issues of abolition of slavery and of giving negros equal standing with whites in the US.


Flag of the Confederate States of America; Seven states declared their independence from the United States before Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as President; four more did so after the American Civil War began. The United States of America ("The Union") held secession illegal and refused recognition of the Confederacy. Although no European powers officially recognized the Confederacy, British commercial interests sold it warships and operated blockade runners to help supply it. When Robert E. Lee and other Confederate generals surrendered their armies in the spring of 1865, the Confederacy collapsed, ending the war without subsequent guerrilla warfare. A decade-long process euphemistically known as Reconstruction followed.

The Southern economy relied heavily on slave labor and slaves made up a large percentage of the South's population (anywhere from 30–57 %, depending on the state). The US did not recognize the legitimacy of the secessions, and after the South removed Northern troops from its territory by force at Fort Sumter, the North declared war, thus beginning the American Civil War. Four additional southern states seceded from the US and joined the Confederacy just as the war was beginning. What ensued was the bloodiest war in American history (about 620,000 died), and in 1865, the Confederacy lost the war and was dissolved.

Under the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution, a state seceding from the union is legal. The amendment states that all powers not prohibited to the states by the Constitution are reserved to the states or the people, and there is nothing in the Constitution which prohibits states from leaving the union. The US troops at Fort Sumter therefore had no legal right to be within the territory of the CSA against its will. This is why the war is known in the South as "The War of Northern Aggression".

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