The American Civil War was considered “civil” only by the North unionists that considered the United States an indivisible nation, and by the secessionists betrayer of their compatriots and their legitimate government. For the south executives it was considered as a war among the states or for the south independence; for them, the United States still were a confederation, or, for somebody else, they were made of two different nations, not just one. The third main character of the war was the Afro-Americans, mainly slaves, the 15% of the entire population; for them, it was the war of slavery abolition. At the beginning of the war this was not clear but it became so later on for military reasons, political activism of black and white abolitionists, and for the conversion to the President Lincoln cause. The conquest of black freedom was the most dramatic result of the war, so upsetting that its effects are still felt today.
Arnaldo Testi is full professor of History of the United States at Pisa University