The Civil War ( 1861-1865 )

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The Civil War (1861-1865) is no doubt one of the most defining moments in U.S. history. Tensions between the North and the South reached a critical point in 1860 when the Southern states began to secede from the Union and form the Confederate States of America. The four years that ensued from the Battle of Fort Sumter claimed more than 600,000 lives, marking the Civil War the bloodiest battles in American history. Following the Union’s victory, the seceded states had to be readmitted into the Union through a process called Reconstruction. However, this process was not easy as there were conflicting plans between Congress, Abraham Lincoln, and his soon to be successor, Andrew Johnson. During the Civil War, plans for Reconstruction were being sought out by Lincoln. In 1863, Lincoln’s Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction – also known as Lincoln’s Ten Percent Plan – would allow a former Confederate state to be reestablished if ten percent of voters in that state took an oath of allegiance and accept the emancipation of slaves. By 1864, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Virginia drafted new constitutions recognizing the abolishment of slavery and were established as part of the Union. However, Congress did not agree with Lincoln’s lenient policy toward the rebels and refused to seat Unionists from those states. At a joint committee, the House and Senate issued a report stating that the former Confederate states were unable to be represented in Congress. In addition,
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