The American Civil War was a conflict between the United States of America and 11 southern states that had declared their secession from the Union. It took place between 1861 and 1865, with over 620,000 casualties on both sides. The war began when seven Southern slave-holding states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America. In response, President Abraham Lincoln issued a call for troops to put down what he saw as an act of rebellion against the federal government.
At first, it appeared that this would be a short-lived struggle; however, by 1862, many Northerners realized they were in for a long fight if they wanted to keep slavery out of all US territories or restore national unity. This realization sparked more intense fighting throughout 1863 and 1864 as each side sought victory in key battles such as Gettysburg (1863) and Atlanta (1864). Ultimately, it was General Ulysses S. Grant's successful siege of Petersburg that ended Lee's Army of Northern Virginia's ability to resist any longer, forcing them to surrender at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865, ending four years of the Civil War's bloody deaths, with around 750 thousand Americans dead.
The result of this devastating conflict changed life dramatically across North America forever, including political, social, and economic changes like freeing slaves, outlawing slavery, allowing black people citizenship rights, enshrining the 14th Amendment, granting citizens due process protections, creating new state governments, offering amnesty pardons, reconstruction efforts, and continuing African American disenfranchisement through Jim Crow laws, white supremacy violence, etc. Throughout these times, we can see how far our country has come since then, recognizing human rights while honoring those who fought during the Civil War.
Overall, the American Civil War is remembered today not only because so much blood was shed but also because its effects are still felt today in areas such as politics and race relations within society. While most historians agree that there is no single cause behind why the South seceded from the Union leading up to the Civil War, this certainly cannot be discounted or forgotten, given the sheer amount of destruction and devastation left behind afterward.