The Civil War and Reconstruction​


The Civil War and Reconstruction​:

DANTES Final Exam Outline 

Each topic will be covered in class. 


Causes of the War (15% - 17%)


  • United States Society in the Mid-Nineteenth Century: Most of the population lived in rural areas, including farms and small towns. Factories were being built in both the North and South, but the North is where the most industrial manufacturing took place.

    • Industrialization, Religiosity, Standards of living, Demographics

  • Slavery: Slavery increased with the world’s demand for cotton making the price of slaves rise from $900 in 1810 for a field hand to double by 1860.

  • Anti-Slavery and Abolition movement: The American Anti-Slavery Society was mostly comprised of religions groups, philanthropic organizations, and members of the free-black community. They used resources to spread their agenda of abolition.

  • Westward Expansion of Free and Slave Territory

    • Missouri Compromise

    • Mexican War

    • Compromise of 1850

    • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    • Birth of Republican Party

    • Bleeding Kansas

    • Dred Scott decision


  • John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry: On October 16, 1859 Brown led 21 men to raid a federal arsenal and military weapons warehouse in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.

  • Political situation in 1860: Democratic Party was split in two, Republicans ran on a platform that did not favor slavery expansion.


1861 (10% - 12%)


  • Secession: Secession was on the minds of many even before the election and about a month after Lincoln’s inauguration the Civil War began.

  • Formation of Confederacy: When Jefferson Davis was inaugurated he planned to protect the states’ rights and not interfere with slave owners.

  • Fort Sumter: Fort Sumter was the start of the Civil War.

  • Lincoln’s Call for Volunteers: When the Union asked for volunteers, they received merchant marines, and the 3 upper classes of the Naval Academy were now on active duty.

  • First Manassas (Bull Run): The Bull Run occurred on July 21, 1861, in Manassas, Virginia.

  • Union Army vs. Confederate Army: Appointing Leaders on both sides was a challenge in trying to keep peace among the leaders.

  • Lincoln vs. Davis leadership: Differences in strategy and resources.


1862 (16% - 18%)


  • Southern strategy: The Conscription Act (April 1862) was a draft by Confederate President Jefferson Davis that enlisted white men between the ages of 18-35 for 3 years.

  • War in the East: Peninsula Campaign (1862) is the northern attempt to send troops into the Peninsula between the James and York Rivers east of the confederate capitol of Richmond.

  • War in the West: Control of the Mississippi was important for the war effort on both sides.

  •  Major battles: Antietam, Second Manassas, Shiloh, Fredericksburg, etc.

  • Emancipation Proclamation: This stated, “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are and henceforward shall be free”


1863 (18% - 20%)


  • Casualties: The most acknowledged quote of the death toll is 620,000.

  • Role of women in the war: They helped make ammunition, arms, uniforms, knitted socks and made bandages. They were also vivandieres.

  • Black Americans and the war: On July 17, 1862, the Second Confiscation and Militia Act was passed by Congress. This act freed slaves whose masters were in the confederate army.

  • Major battles: Gettysburg, Stones River, Chattanooga, and Chickamauga


1864 (14% - 16%)


  • Political situation

    • Northern demoralization: The Southern states felt threatened by the North’s progress and their initiative to end slavery.

    • Presidential election in the north: Election of Abraham Lincoln to presidency in 1860 promoted the North Republicans’ nation of free labor.

    • South cut in half and isolated: The Union victory at Vicksburg divided the south in half.

  • War in the West

    • Capture of Atlanta: The Battle of Atlanta was in favor of the Union States though it was not easy.

    • Sherman’s march to the sea and total war: Led his troops through Georgia leaving a trail of destruction, which is known as the “March to Sea”.

  • War in the East

    • Grant and the Army of the Potomac: Grant forced Lee from the Rapid River to the James.

    • Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia: With trusted subordinates, Lee commanded troops that proved formidable against their Federal opposition.

    • Major battles – the rise of modern warfare: Wilderness campaign, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Shenandoah, etc.


1865 (6% - 8%)


  • Sherman’s Carolina Campaign: The last campaign in the West where the last major Confederate army was defeated.

  • Fall of Richmond: Flight of the Confederate army from Richmond.

  • Lee’s surrender: April 9, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in the parlor of Wilmer McLean’s Home in Appomattox Court House, in Virginia.

  • Assassination of Lincoln: Shot dead by Confederate sympathizer, John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865.

  • End of the Confederacy: Johnston’s surrender and the capture of Davis.

  • Cost of the war: The Civil War claimed over 620,000 lives. 360,000 lives were from the US, and the rest were from the Confederacy


Reconstruction (14% - 16%)


  • Presidential reconstruction plans: Johnson selected as VP to appeal to the Southerners.

  • Southern response: Rise of the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups.

  • Congressional reconstruction plans

    • Radical republicans, reconstruction acts, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, impeachment, Freedmen’s Bureau, Civil Rights Act

  • Military Reconstruction

    • Response to Johnson’s policies, elected black office-holders, scalawags, and carpet-baggers, secret terrorist societies

  • End of Reconstruction: Restoration of a white government, the election of 1876 and the compromise of 1877. This Compromise of 1877 resulted in Democrats regaining control of the Southern region and the ending the Reconstruction era