The American Civil War caused upheaval and massive private bereavement, but the years 1861-1865 also defined a great nation.

This book provides a concise introduction to events from the secession to the end of the war. It focuses on 

  •  the military progress of the war
  •  Union and Confederate politics
  •  social change - particularly the emancipation of North American slaves

The social history associated with the war is dealt with alongside the familiar military and political events. This inclusive approach allows the reader to consider equally the history of men and women, blacks and whites in the conflict. It deals with both the Union and the Confederacy, integrating the latest literature on the war and society into a clear account. The book concludes with an assessment of emancipation, the rebuilding of the economy, and the war's consequences.

An array of primary documents supports the text, together with a chronology, glossary and Who's Who guide to key figures.

part One|15 pages


chapter One|3 pages

Introduction: The Problem

chapter Two|10 pages

Origins of the Civil War

part Two|53 pages


chapter Three|11 pages

The War, 1861–62

chapter Four|10 pages

The Union Homefront

chapter Six|11 pages

War and Politics, 1863–64

chapter Seven|5 pages

A More Perfect Union?

part Three|9 pages


chapter Eight|7 pages

Emancipation and Reconstruction

part Four|27 pages