What does American Civil War mean?

Definitions for American Civil War
amer·i·can civ·il war

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word American Civil War.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. American Civil War, United States Civil War, War between the Statesnoun

    civil war in the United States between the North and the South; 1861-1865


  1. American Civil War

    The American Civil War (April 12, 1861 – May 26, 1865; also known by other names) was a civil war in the United States. It was fought between the Union ("the North") and the Confederacy ("the South"), the latter formed by states that had seceded. The central cause of the war was the dispute over whether slavery would be permitted to expand into the western territories, leading to more slave states, or be prevented from doing so, which was widely believed would place slavery on a course of ultimate extinction. Decades of political controversy over slavery were brought to a head by the victory in the 1860 U.S. presidential election of Abraham Lincoln, who opposed slavery's expansion into the western territories. An initial seven southern slave states responded to Lincoln's victory by seceding from the United States and, in February 1861, forming the Confederacy. The Confederacy seized U.S. forts and other federal assets within their borders. Led by Confederate President Jefferson Davis, the Confederacy asserted control over about a third of the U.S. population in eleven of the 34 U.S. states that then existed. Four years of intense combat, mostly in the South, ensued. During 1861–1862 in the war's Western Theater, the Union made significant permanent gains—though in the war's Eastern Theater the conflict was inconclusive. The abolition of slavery became a war goal on January 1, 1863, when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared all slaves in states in rebellion to be free, applying to more than 3.5 million of the 4 million enslaved people in the country. Former slaves who escaped from plantations or were liberated by the Union Army were recruited into the United States Colored Troops regiments of the Union Army. To the west, the Union destroyed the Confederate's river navy by the summer of 1862, then much of its western armies, and seized New Orleans. The successful 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Confederate General Robert E. Lee's incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg. Western successes led to General Ulysses S. Grant's command of all Union armies in 1864. Inflicting an ever-tightening naval blockade of Confederate ports, the Union marshaled resources and manpower to attack the Confederacy from all directions. This led to the fall of Atlanta in 1864 to Union General William Tecumseh Sherman, followed by his march to the sea. The last significant battles raged around the ten-month Siege of Petersburg, gateway to the Confederate capital of Richmond. The Confederates abandoned Richmond, and on April 9, 1865, Lee surrendered to Grant following the Battle of Appomattox Court House, setting in motion the end of the war. A wave of Confederate surrenders followed. On April 14, just five days after Lee's surrender, Lincoln was assassinated. As a practical matter, the war ended with the May 26 surrender of the Department of the Trans-Mississippi but the conclusion of the American Civil War lacks a clear and precise historical end date. Confederate ground forces continued surrendering past the May 26 surrender date until June 23. By the end of the war, much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed, especially its railroads. The Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, and four million enslaved black people were freed. The war-torn nation then entered the Reconstruction era in an attempt to rebuild the country, bring the former Confederate states back into the United States, and grant civil rights to freed slaves. The Civil War is one of the most extensively studied and written about episodes in U.S. history. It remains the subject of cultural and historiographical debate. Of particular interest is the persisting myth of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy. The American Civil War was among the first wars to utilize industrial warfare. Railroads, the telegraph, steamships, the ironclad warship, and mass-produced weapons were all widely used during the war. In total, the war left between 620,000 and 750,000 soldiers dead, along with an undetermined number of civilian casualties, making the Civil War the deadliest military conflict in American history. The technology and brutality of the Civil War foreshadowed the coming World Wars.


  1. american civil war

    The American Civil War was a significant conflict that took place from 1861 to 1865 in the United States, fought between the northern states known as the Union and the southern states who seceded and formed the Confederate States of America. The major issues leading to the war were the controversial topics of slavery, states' rights, and territorial expansion. The Union's victory resulted in the abolition of slavery and laid a foundation for the protection of civil rights in the United States.


  1. American Civil War

    The American Civil War, also known as the War between the States or simply the Civil War, was a civil war fought from 1861 to 1865 between the United States and several Southern slave states that declared their secession and formed the Confederate States of America. The war had its origin in the fractious issue of slavery, especially the extension of slavery into the western territories. Foreign powers did not intervene. After four years of bloody combat that left over 600,000 soldiers dead and destroyed much of the South's infrastructure, the Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, and the difficult Reconstruction process of restoring national unity and guaranteeing rights to the freed slaves began. In the 1860 presidential election, Republicans, led by Abraham Lincoln, opposed expanding slavery into United States' territories. Lincoln won, but before his inauguration on March 4, 1861, seven slave states with cotton-based economies formed the Confederacy. Outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincoln's inaugural address declared his administration would not initiate civil war. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession. Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy. A Peace Conference failed to find a compromise, and both sides prepared for war. The Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on "King Cotton" that they would intervene; none did and none recognized the new Confederate States of America.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. American Civil War

    1861-1865 conflict between the Union (Northern states) and the 11 Southern states that seceded and were organized as the Confederate States of America.

Editors Contribution

  1. American Civil Warnoun

    According to Alexis de Tocqueville, a French historian and sociologist, It was a REVOLUTION, since it involved a new constitution replacing the already-existing one...I told this to my American History professor in NY, sixty years ago, to which he replied, "What did he know, he was French" ...

    see above.

    Etymology: Latin...It's late, I'm tired, please don't ask for more...

    Submitted by sambergkenneth on January 7, 2022  

Matched Categories

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of American Civil War in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of American Civil War in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Translations for American Civil War

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • الحرب الأهلية الأمريكيةArabic
  • Americká občanská válkaCzech
  • amerikanske borgerkrigDanish
  • des amerikanischen BürgerkriegesGerman
  • Αμερικανικό Εμφύλιο ΠόλεμοGreek
  • Guerra civil americanaSpanish
  • جنگ داخلی آمریکاPersian
  • Yhdysvaltain sisällissotaFinnish
  • guerre civile américaineFrench
  • अमरीकी गृह युद्धHindi
  • amerikai polgárháborúHungarian
  • perang sipil AmerikaIndonesian
  • Guerra civile americanaItalian
  • מלחמת האזרחים האמריקניתHebrew
  • アメリカ南北戦争Japanese
  • ಅಮೇರಿಕನ್ ನಾಗರಿಕ ಯುದ್ಧKannada
  • 미국 남Korean
  • Bellum Civile AmericanumLatin
  • Amerikaanse burgeroorlogDutch
  • amerikanske borgerkrigenNorwegian
  • amerykańska wojna domowaPolish
  • guerra civil AmericanaPortuguese
  • razboiul civil AmericanRomanian
  • американская граRussian
  • Amerikanska inbSwedish
  • அமெரிக்க உள்நாட்டுப் போர்Tamil
  • అమెరికన్ పౌర యుద్ధంTelugu
  • สงครามกลางเมืองอเมริกันThai
  • amerikan iç savaşTurkish
  • Американська громадянська війнаUkrainian
  • امریکی خانہ جنگیUrdu
  • chiến tranh dân sự người MỹVietnamese
  • אמעריקאנער סיוויל מלחמהYiddish
  • 美國南北戰爭Chinese

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"American Civil War." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 6 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/American+Civil+War>.

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