Southern secession and the outbreak of the Civil War

Lincoln won the presidential election in November 1860. But he would not actually become President until his inauguration on March 4th, 1861 in Washington.

During the three months between his election and the inauguration, much was to happen and tensions continued to build between the North and South. The South did not want Lincoln to be the President.

The Confederate States of America

On 20th December 1860 a special meeting called a convention was held in South Carolina. By a unanimous vote, the members of the convention decided that South Carolina should leave, or secede from the United States.

In January and February 1861, six more southern states also seceded from the Union:

  • Mississippi
  • Florida
  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Texas
Portrait of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy
Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy

At a meeting in the town of Montgomery, Alabama they formed a new government called the Confederate States of America.

They chose Jefferson Davis (a senator from Mississippi) to be their President.

Four of the states on the border between the North and South also seceded and later joined the Confederacy:

  • Arkansas
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • North Carolina