The Civil War and Reconstruction (1860-1877)
The state of South Carolina seceded from the United States on December 20, 1860, triggering the Civil War. It concluded with the defeat of the Confederate States of America, the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, and nearly a dozen years of Reconstruction.
Although the Civil War was disastrous for the South, there's been little analysis on the wisdom of seceding in 1860. Here we examine the alternatives.
- Bruce Levine - The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution That Transformed the South
- Eric Foner - The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery
- John Hope Franklin - Reconstruction after the Civil War
- Tera W. Hunter - To 'Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women's Lives and Labors after the Civil War
- David Herbert Donald - Lincoln
- Shelby Foote - The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville (Vintage Civil War Library)
- Bruce Catton - The Coming Fury (American Civil War Trilogy, Vol. 1)
- Michael F. Holt - By One Vote: The Disputed Presidential Election of 1876 (American Presidential Elections)
- 1860 - Abraham Lincoln wins the Presidential election, defeating several rival candidates. In most Southern states he does not receive a single vote.
- 1860 - South Carolina becomes the first state to secede from the United States on December 20.
- 1861 - The Civil War begins with the barrage of Fort Sumter on April 12. The Federal garrison is forced to surrender to Confederate forces.
- 1862 - Bloodiest day of the Civil War -- Antietam claims 3,654 lives on September 17.
- 1863 - Bloodiest battle of the Civil War - Gettysburg is fought from July 1-3, with 7,863 killed.
- 1865 - General Robert E. Lee surrenders his army on April 9th at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the Civil War.
- 1865 - Abraham Lincoln is assassinated on April 14th by John Wilkes Booth, an unrepentant secessionist.
- 1865 - The 13th Amendment ends slavery in the United States. Reconstruction begins in the South.
- 1866 - The Ku Klux Klan and other paramilitary groups are formed to resist Reconstruction.
- 1869 - The first Transcontinental Railroad is completed when the "Golden Spike" is driven in Promontory, Utah. The age of the railroad tycoon begins.
- 1870 - John Rockefeller and Henry Flagler form Standard Oil Company.
- 1873 - The Panic of 1873 touches off "The Long Depression".
- 1877 - The disputed election of 1876 is awarded to the Republican candidate, Rutherford Hayes, in a compromise. Federal troops are withdrawn from the South and the Reconstruction era ends.