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A nation divided


In the mid-1800s, the United States had grown apart. Since the beginning of the colonies more than 200 years earlier, two regions of the country had developed in very different ways. They were not the same for many reasons, but the rising tension was starting to tear the nation apart. By 1860, after years of compromise on several issues, war could no longer be avoided. The time of peace and unity would be shattered by the American Civil War.

Culture: North and South

Economy: Industrial and agricultural

Constitution: National Government and States' Rights

Free State and Slave State



Slavery in the Territories

Missouri Compromise (1820)

Nat Turner Rebellion

Compromise of 1850

Fugitive Slave Law

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Kansas-Nebraska Act

Dred Scott Decision

John Brown's Raid at Harpers Ferry

Election of 1860


Fort Sumter


The story

1. A Nation Divided

2. Events and Battles

3. Leaders

4. Daily Life

5. Aftermath


North or South?

Match the abolitionist

What would you do?

Name that leader

Study the artifact

Be a columnist

Interactive map


SOL Civil War key word index