SLAVERY
The burning issue that led to the disruption of the union, however, was the debate over the future of slavery. That dispute led to secession, and secession brought about a war in which the Northern and Western states and territories fought to preserve the Union, and the South fought to establish Southern independence as a new confederation of states under its own constitution. In the late 18th century, the abolitionist movement began in the north and the country began to divide over the issue between north and south. In 1820, the Missouri Compromise banned slavery in all new western territories, which southern states saw as a threat to the institution of slavery itself. With the election in 1860 of Abraham Lincoln, who ran on a position of anti-slavery, the south felt that slavery was sure to be abolished, causing many southern states to secede from the union. This capped off the bloody Civil War
During the war, Lincoln issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves in the confederate states. But it wasn’t until the Union had actually won the war and the subsequent passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution that the American slaves were officially freed.
STATES RIGHTS
States’ Rights refer to the struggle between the federal government and individual states over political power. In the Civil War era, this struggle focused heavily on the institution of slavery and whether the federal government had the right to regulate or even abolish slavery within an individual state. The sides of this debate were largely drawn between northern and southern states, thus widened the growing divide within the nation.
As long as there were an equal number of slave-holding states in the South as non-slave-holding states in the North, the two regions had even representation in the Senate and neither could dictate to the other. However, each new territory that applied for statehood threatened to upset this balance of power. Southerners

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