The Secession Crisis
Shortly after the election of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, a crisis struck the US. Even before his inauguration, several states began to declare themselves independent, beginning with South Carolina on December 20, 1860. By Lincoln's inauguration, seven states had declared themselves independent, and formed a new nation, known as the Confederate States of America, on February 8, 1861. A "permanent" constitution was adopted on March 11, 1861.
The government in Washington refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the CSA. The Rebellion is considered to have begun on April 12, 1861 with the attack, and subsequent capture, of Fort Sumter by Southern forces. The rebellion continued, with several minor engagements, until the Battle of Bull Run, on July 12 of the same year. By this point, four more states had declared secession, and Missouri had two rival governments, one secessionist, one unionist.
The Battle of Bull Run
The Battle of Bull Run finished off the Rebellion. Both sides were ill-prepared for battle. There were spectators of both sides watching the battle, each expecting a quick victory for their side, which only came true for the Union side. Union forces broke through the Confederate forces, sending them into disarray. Many soldiers were captured or killed, including one Brigadier General Thomas Jackson, who was felled by a bullet early in the battle. By the end of the day, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who had come out to observe the battle, was captured and brought back to Washington. The leadership of the Confederate States, with their nascent army crushed, and their President imprisoned, negotiated a surrender to the Federal Government, ending the brief three-month Rebellion.
The Agreements of '61
The end of the Rebellion brought about the Agreements of '61. The Southern states first and foremost repealed their Ordinances of Secession. In addition, the Slavery Limitation Act was passed, forbidding the extension of slavery beyond those states wherein slavery was already legal. Furthermore, the Compensated Emancipation Administration (CEA) was established to buy the freedom of slaves.
The Free Birth Act followed a couple years later, declaring all children born to slaves after July 4, 1864 to be free. In 1873, the Centennial Liberty Act was passed, requiring all slaves to be freed by July 4, 1876. A short-lived rebellion sprung up, the Rebellion of '73, involving fewer states than the Rebellion of '61. Slaves in those rebel states were freed without compensation.