The South Secedes
When Abraham Lincoln was elected as president in 1860. Southerners thought the government was becoming too strong. They did not think the government had the right to tell them how they should live. Southerners felt if they stayed in the United States, the North would control them.
Some southern states decided they had no choice. They decided to secede, or leave, the United States. South Carolina was the first to leave the Union and form a new nation called the Confederate States of America. Four months later, six other states seceded. They were Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana. Later Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee joined them. The people of these states elected Jefferson Davis as president of the Confederacy.
The northern states were called the Union. President Lincoln said he would fight to keep the southern states as part of the United States. There were Union forts on Confederate land. The Confederates wanted Union soldiers to leave these forts. In Charleston, South Carolina there was a Union fort called Fort Sumter. The Union soldiers refused to leave this fort, so the Confederates fired cannons at the fort on April 12, l861. This was the beginning of the Civil War.