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The Civil War officially began with the bombardment of Fort Sumter in 1861, but its roots are way older than the official start. Slavery, economic issues, and political disagreements were major issues in American society, decades before 1861. The causes which lead to the start of this bloody war were many and complex, with both the Union and the Confederacy arguing for who was right about the main issues.
This war was meant to settle these differences once and for all and it will ultimately lead to the reunification of the “Divided Nation”.
Like at the beginning of WWI, both the Union and the Confederates believed that this war will be short and that it will end with one decisive battle. The main objective for the Confederacy, led by Jefferson Davis was to preserve its independence by fighting a defensive war. The goal of the Union was to reincorporate the 11 secessionist states, this job will be harder for the North because of the large area of the Southern States, communications, and long supply lines. The South also had 2 major advantages, experienced commanders and officers and a good knowledge of the local terrain.
The First Battle of Bull Run(Battle of Manassas) proved to both sides, that this was not a war like the others, and that the outcome was nowhere near the end. It also showed to both the Union and the Confederacy, that one decisive battle will not be enough for total victory.
It will take 4 more years, and dozens of fierce battles, for the Union to obtain the final victory against the Confederate. To this day it remains the bloodiest conflict in the history of the United States with approximately 650.000 casualties from both the Union and Confederate forces.