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The North and South had many differences. For instance, the North focused on a more industrial way of life, while the South relied on agriculture and trade. The North paid workers for their labor while the South used unpaid slaves for all their labor. These differences sparked an intense battle between the two that would soon catapult into the Civil War.
The Battle of Fort Sumter was the start of the Civil War. On April 11, 1861, Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard dispatched aids to Maj. Anderson to demand the fort's surrender, but he refused. Confederate batteries opened fire on the fort and continued for 34 hours. On April 13, Anderson surrendered the fort.
The First Battle of Bull Run occurred on July 21, 1861, with Union and Confederate troops meeting in Virginia, between Washington D.C. and Richmond. The battle ended in Union forces being forced to retreat and loosing. This loss shocked the Northerners and forced them to prepare more seriously for upcoming battles. Many Southerners interpreted the victory as an early end to the war because the Northerners had lost a will to fight.
At the beginning of war, Lincoln bypassed Congress and ordered a naval blockade of all Southern ports. The Confederate warship Alabama sank more than 60 Union ships before it was defeated. The formerly known warship USS Merrimack was renamed the Virginia and easily destroyed several Union ships and broke through the blockade. The Union built the USS Monitor, a ship featuring an innovative gun turret. The 2 ships met in March of 1862 at the Battle of the Ironclads, which ended in a draw.
The Emancipation Proclamation freed all slaves in the Confederacy. The immediate and practical effects were limited because declared that only slaves in the secession states were free, not the border states. It was effectively unenforceable.
Robert E. Lee marched into Pennsylvania where he met the Union forces at the Battle of Gettysburg in early July. At the end of the bloody battle, over 50,000 died, and Lee was forced to retreat once more. Lincoln commemorated the Union victory in the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln argued that the Civil War was a test not only for the Union but for the entire world, for it would determine whether a nation conceived in democracy could “long endure.”
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