The American Civil War (1861–1865) is also known as the War Between the States. Eleven southern slave states formed the Confederate States of America, which was headed by Jefferson Davis. The US federal government mustered 20 so-called free states and five slave states.
For some reason the Confederacy, instead of choosing to fight a guerilla war that doubtless would have been successful, chose to fight within classical parameters. These included large standing armies and accepted military tactics of the day. It took four terrible years, but given the North's preponderance of people and industry, the result was preordained. The South surrendered, slavery was outlawed and "Reconstruction" began.
Even today, the legacy of the Civil War is a kind of open wound in the South. Confederate commander Robert E. Lee is a folk hero and battles such as Gettysburg continue to be celebrated and reenacted. It was Ulysses S. Grant and Union general William Tecumseh Sherman who brought the South to its knees. Grant fought Lee directly, while Sherman launched a bloody Southern march, burning whole cities as he went. Lee signed unconditional surrender papers at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. Grant accepted them.
The war resulted in the deaths of 620,000 soldiers and probably just as many if not more civilian casualties. An astounding 30 percent of all younger Southern white males died versus about 10 percent for the North. The war was the bloodiest ever fought on American soil and probably one of the bloodiest civil wars ever prosecuted.
While the legacy of the Civil War is debatable, the passions it arouses have not gone away. 21st century revisionist history (mostly libertarian) holds that the unintended or unexpected outcome of the civil war was a massive increase in federal power. Without the right to secede, states were helpless to combat the juggernaut of federal power and the result was an enormous flood of laws and regulations that started in the 19th century and increased in the 20th.
Today, the US Federal government is truly Leviathan, the feared authoritarian titan that brooks no resistence to the lunacy that passes for legislation. US$200 trillion in debt according to some estimates, fighting serial wars throughout the world, oppressing its citizens in manifold ways at home, Leviathan has long verged out of control. The shadowy Anglo-American elites that conspire to create world government – and no doubt prosecuted the Civil War with just this goal in mind – remain regnant and in some ways are more powerful than ever.
Without the rise of the Internet, as has been observed, the Anglosphere would be well on its way toward formal world government. But the ‘Net itself has provided considerable pushback. The uncontrolled expansion of the federal government that began with the Civil War is being frustrated now not by Southern states but by information that has revealed the true plans of the powers-that-be and thus made them far more difficult to implement.