The War of Southern Independence (known alternatively in the United States as the War of Southern Secession or the Civil War), was an armed conflict fought between 1861 and 1863 in North America between the United States of America and the separatist Confederate States of America. The war was officially begun upon the shelling of Fort Sumter in Charleston by US troops in April of 1861 and ended on July 1, 1863 with the ceasefire agreement that led to the October signing of the Treaty of Baltimore, which officially established the Confederacy. Major battles included First and Second Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam and Chambersburg.

The war, while guaranteeing Confederate independence from the American North, also led to deep-seated enmity and suspicion between the two American nations and directly led to the CSA's emergence as a French client state and a crucial piece of the "Franco-American bloc," known in Europe as the "Western Beachhead" that emerged in the latter part of the 19th century and that stayed in place through the end of World War One. As one historian phrased it, "the belligerents of World War One were sorted into their respective camps with the stroke of the pen at Baltimore, 1863."

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