What is a civil war?
It’s a conflict between two groups of people in the same country.
What were the two groups in the American Civil War?
Eleven slave-holding states (known as “the Confederacy,” “the South,” “ the Rebels”) were on one side, and the rest of the states (known as “the Union,” “the North,” “the Yankees”) were on the other side — 23 states at the beginning of the war.
What were they fighting about?
The states in the Confederacy were fighting because they wanted to be a separate country and make their own laws, partly so they could be sure slavery would always be legal. At first, the other states were fighting to keep the South part of the United States — “to save the Union.” Later in the war, ending slavery became an increasingly important reason they fought.