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During the American Civil War, the United States (U.S.) was referred to as the Union, also known colloquially as the North, after eleven Southern slave states seceded to form the Confederate States of America (CSA), which was called the Confederacy, also known as the South. The name the "Union" arose from the declared goal of the United States, led by President Abraham Lincoln, of preserving the United States as a constitutional union.
|Anthem: Hail, Columbia (de facto)
My Country, 'Tis of Thee (de facto)
|Federal presidential constitutional republic
|Speaker of the House
|Galusha A. Grow
|Roger B. Taney
|Salmon P. Chase
|American Civil War
|March 4, 1861
|April 12–13, 1861
|January 1, 1863
|July 13–16, 1863
|March 29, 1865
|April 14, 1865
|April 9 – November 6, 1865
|Today part of
"Union" is used in the Preamble to the United States Constitution, which opens, "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union ... do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America". In the context of the Civil War, "Union" is also often used as a synonym for "the northern states loyal to the United States government"; in this meaning, the Union included 20 free states and four southern border slave states, Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri, though Missouri and Kentucky both had dual competing Confederate and Unionist governments with the Confederate government of Kentucky and the Confederate government of Missouri.
The Union Army was a new formation comprising mostly state units, together with units from the regular U.S. Army. Keeping the southern border states in the Union was essential to its winning the war, and Lincoln reportedly said, "I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky".
The Northeast and Midwest provided the industrial resources for a mechanized war producing large quantities of munitions and supplies and financing the war. The Northeast and Midwest provided soldiers, food, horses, financial support, and training camps. Army hospitals were set up across the Union. Most Northern states had Republican governors who energetically supported the war effort and suppressed anti-war subversion, particularly that that arose in 1863–64. The Democratic Party strongly supported the war at the beginning in 1861, but by 1862, was split between the War Democrats and the anti-war element known as Peace Democrats, led by the extremist "Copperheads". The Democrats made major electoral gains in 1862 in state elections, most notably in New York. They lost ground in 1863, especially in Ohio. In 1864, the Republicans campaigned under the National Union Party banner, which attracted many War Democrats and soldiers and scored a landslide victory for Lincoln and his entire ticket against Democratic candidate George B. McClellan.
The war years were quite prosperous except where serious fighting and guerrilla warfare ravaged the countryside. Prosperity was stimulated by heavy government spending and the creation of an entirely new national banking system. The Union states invested a great deal of money and effort in organizing psychological and social support for soldiers' wives, widows, and orphans, and for the soldiers themselves. Most soldiers were volunteers, although after 1862 many volunteered in order to escape the draft and to take advantage of generous cash bounties on offer from states and localities. Draft resistance was notable in some larger cities, especially in parts of New York City, with its massive anti-draft riots of July 1863 and in some remote districts such as the Coal Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
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