Learning Lincoln On-line
FROM-- SET EIGHT, CIVIL WAR STUDIES
Topic Fifty-two: Lincoln's Post-Civil War Reconstruction Plans
SLAVERY, FREEDOM, CONDITION AFTER SLAVERY
Slavery effectively ended in the U.S. in the spring of 1865 when the Confederate armies surrendered. All slaves in the Confederacy were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, which stipulated that slaves in Confederate-held areas were free. Slaves in the border states and Union-controlled parts of the South were freed by state action or (on December 6, 1865) by the Thirteenth Amendment. The full restoration of the Union was the work of a highly contentious postwar era known as Reconstruction. The war produced about 1,030,000 casualties (3% of the population), including about 620,000 soldier deaths—two-thirds by disease. The war accounted for roughly as many American deaths as all American deaths in other U.S. wars combined.
The causes of the war, the reasons for its outcome, and even the name of the war itself are subjects of lingering contention today. About 4 million black slaves were freed in 1861–65. Based on 1860 census figures, 8% of all white males aged 13 to 43 died in the war, including 6% in the North and an extraordinary 18% in the South. About 56,000 soldiers died in prisons during the Civil War.
Northern leaders agreed that victory would require more
than the end of fighting. It had to encompass the two war goals:
secession had to be repudiated and all forms of slavery had to be
eliminated. They disagreed sharply on the criteria for these goals.
They also disagreed on the degree of federal control that should be
imposed on the South, and the process by which Southern states
should be reintegrated into the Union.