The American Civil War for Kids
Many people believe that the American Civil War of 1861-1865, also know as the War Between the States and the War of Northern Aggression, was fought over slavery. The question of slavery became a key issue as the war continued. But the American Civil War was fought over states' rights. State representatives in the US Congress would not compromise on the distribution of power in government, what rights states had to govern themselves.
States in the South wanted strong state governments. They did not want Congress telling them what to do. They wanted individual states to have the right to decide major issues for themselves. One of the rights the Southern states wanted was the right to own slaves.
States in the North wanted a strong central government. They wanted Congress to decide major issues. They wanted individual states to obey any laws created by Congress, even if those laws were in conflict with laws created by individual states, including state laws that had to do with slavery.
By 1861, the Union (northern states) and the Confederacy (southern states) were at war over the issue of states' rights.
Leading Up to
The Home Front during the American Civil War
Reconstruction, What happened after the Civil War was over? (1865-1877)
Civil War Maps and Timelines
Civil War Games & Activities for Kids:
Free Essays and Reports: