Learn About This Special Holiday

Causes of the Civil War

One of the most commonly known reasons of the Civil War was slavery. The south had lots of farms, while the north had mostly factories. The north, or the Union, didn't need as much work out on the fields so they did not think slavery was right.

The second reason was southerners felt that the government was passing laws that treated them unfairly. They believed that individual states had the right to "nullify", or overturn, any law the government passed. They also believed that individual states had the right to leave the United States and form their own country. Most people in the North believed that "nullification" and "states' rights" would make the United States a weaker country, and did not like these ideas.

The third reason was that Northern factories were producing many of the same goods as Southerners and Northern politicians were able to pass lots of heavy taxes on imported goods from Europe so Southerners would have to buy goods from the North. These taxes made the Southerners furious.

That's Not All

The Civil War

The Civil War was fought in about 10,000 places! They fought in Valverde, New Mexico, Tullahoma, Tennessee, St. Albans, Vermont, and Fernandina . More than 3 million Americans fought in it, and over 600,000 men (2 percent of the population) died in it.

American homes became headquarters, churches and schoolhouses gave shelter to the dying, and huge armies swept across American farms and burned towns. Soldiers killed one another, right in America, in their own farms and houses, familiar roads, and by rivers.

In the two horrible days at Shiloh, on the banks of the Tennessee River, more American men fell than in all the American wars combined. At Cold Harbor,around 7,000 Americans fell in twenty minutes. Men who had never gone more than twenty miles from their front doors now found themselves soldiers in great armies, fighting battles hundreds of miles from home.

The Civil War has been called many names: the War Between the States, the War Against Northern Aggression, the Second American Revolution, the Lost Cause, the War of the Rebellion, the Brothers’ War, the Late Unpleasantness, and the War of Attempted Secession. However, by whatever name it's called, everyone agrees that it was the most important event that shaped America. It saw the end of slavery and kept the U.S. intact. It was the first modern war ,and for Americans, the costliest. It caused, unfortunately, the greatest amount of suffering, spiritually and physically. It was the most horrible, but necessary, problem the nation has ever known.
There were some coincidences. Robert E. Lee became a legend in the Confederate army after turning down an offer to command everyone in the Union force. Four of Lincoln’s brothers-in-law fought on the Confederate side, and one was killed.

The Civil War was a very bloody mess. Abraham Lincoln had the choice whether or not to fight. Luckily for us, he decided to keep the country together. If the Union had lost the war, the U.S. would be a lot different then it is now.

Emancipation Procolomation

It has been said that the Emancipation Proclamation is mostly admired, not read. In fact, the Emancipation Proclamation freed not one slave! This is the document with comments underlined:

January 1, 1863

A Proclamation.

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

“That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free;

  • Only the slaves of “rebellious” states are mentioned. At that time, Lincoln actually had no power over the slaves or states. They were, at the moment, the Confederate States of America, with a completely different president.

and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

  • The term "actual freedom" is suspected, and appears to mean that “efforts” must be made in addition to the Proclamation.

“That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States.”

Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion,

  • Abraham Lincoln wants all to know that there is no one who has love for blacks, and that is not right.

do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of State

wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit: Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)],

  • Why are these places exceptions? The people there are not rebelling and are controlled by Union forces.

and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

  • In other words, without any effect on slavery.

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

  • “When allowed”? Are blacks free only to work hard for others ? This leaves the power in the rebel slave owners, who is expected to do the “allowing,” but the slave master, whom Lincoln “allows” to stay.

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

Blacks are strongly guided by Lincoln to go immediately into the army. In other words, freed from the Confederates to slave for the north. A “free” person: WHO JUST IS — FREE; FREE TO FARM, OR FIGHT

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.


In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.

By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN



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JUNETEENTH. On June 19 ("Juneteenth"), 1865, Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and told everyone "The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor." The news of their freedom reached around 250,000 slaves in Texas. Within a short time, Juneteenth was marked by festivities throughout the state.

Teresa Palomo Acosta


1. What are the causes of the Civil War besides slavery?

The South wanted better states rights, including the right to nullify.

2.Why did Abraham Lincoln fight the Civil War?

He fought the Civil War to keep the United States united.

3.When was the Emancipation Proclamation signed?

It was signed on September 11, 1862.

4.When did Texas declare Juneteenth an official state holiday?

It was declared on January 1, 1980.

5.Who told the slaves they were free?

General Gordan Granger told the slaves.

6.Which Texas city is the birthplace of Juneteenth celebrations?

Galveston, Texas is the birthplace of Juneteenth.

7.When was the first Juneteenth?

The original date was June 19, 1865.

8.Is Juneteenth a federal holiday?

No, Juneteenth is a state holiday.

9.What other names does Juneteenth go by?

Juneteenth is also called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day.

10.Why did General Gordan Granger have to go to Texas to free the slaves?

The slave owners would not tell the slaves themselves, so he went to tell them.