The Civil War lasted four years, from April of 1861 to April of 1865. It physically separated the nation into two, in which the South seceded from the North. The two sides fought for the struggle over slavery - the South was for it, while the North was against it. The South argued that the North was attempting to limit their rights given to them by the Constitution; their rights to exercise those powers were restrained heavily by the politically dominant North. The North at first made a statement stating that the main purpose of the war was to maintain the Union and to keep the South from breaking apart. However, as the war went on, Lincoln found fighting for these terms was impossible; he knew that the slaves had to be freed. This decision to abolish slavery stirred up controversy in the Union, for many white men, while they opposed slavery, did not like the idea that they were fighting for African-Americans. Many riots erupted from many Union states come draft day, clearly showing the unsettlement and dissatisfaction that Americans had with the idea of freeing slaves. The North not only had to deal with the South, but also with themselves.
Following the Civil War, a period of time known as the Reconstruction came into effect. This was the time where the North attempted to rebuild the South and the time for the South to settle their differences and get over bitter feelings of losing the war. However, despite its good intentions, the Reconstruction was generally considered a failure by most historians. The Reconstruction was led by a certain group of Republicans known as the Radicals.