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The Battle of Fort Sumter #3-- Two New Presidents

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Cover of the Library of Congress Information Bulletin, Dec., 2002 

Prominent faces from the American Civil War (clockwise from top left) include Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Photo illustration by Samuel L. McLemore.


Why secession?  A New President

After the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency in 1860, the states of the southern United States broke away from the federal union that had existed since the ratification of the Constitution. Believing that Lincoln would restrict their rights to own slaves, Southerners decided that secession was a better choice than to give up their economic system and their way of life.


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