Confederate States of America

The Confederate States of America (CSA or C.S.), commonly referred to as the Confederacy, was an unrecognized confederation of secessionist states existing from 1861–65. It was originally formed by seven slave states in the Lower South region of the United States whose regional economy was mostly dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton, and a plantation system of production which in turn largely relied upon slave labor. Each had declared their secession from the United States following the November 1860 election of Republican Abraham Lincoln on a platform which opposed expansion of slavery. A new confederate government was proclaimed in February 1861 before Lincoln took office in March, but was considered illegal by the government of the United States. After war began in April, four states of the Upper South also declared their secession and joined the Confederacy. The Confederacy later accepted Missouri and Kentucky as members, although neither officially declared secession nor were they ever controlled by Confederate forces.

The United States (the Union) government rejected secession and considered the Confederacy to be illegitimate. The American Civil War began with the April 12, 1861 Confederate attack upon Fort Sumter, a fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. By 1865, after very heavy fighting, largely on Confederate territory, CSA forces all surrendered and the Confederacy vanished. No foreign state officially recognized the Confederacy as an independent country, but Britain and France granted belligerent status. Although lacking a formal end, Jefferson Davis lamented that the Confederacy "disappeared" in 1865.

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The Civil War and Reconstruction (1860-1877)

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