In 1861, Americans became engaged in a bloody civil war in which more than 600,000 Americans lost their lives. The conflict began after several states withdrew from the Union. ""Causes of the Civil War: The Differences Between the North and South"" examines the sectional rivalries that surfaced in the early 19th century and intensified in the decades leading up to the war. Two distinct American societies had developed: one industrialized, urban, and relying upon free labor, and the other rural, agrarian, and built upon slave labor. As the United States expanded its territory westward, the differences in the two sections fueled the debate over slavery and its use. In the 1840s and 1850s, tensions escalated, resulting in the secession of the Southern states and the declaration of war between the Union and the Confederates.
Shane Mountjoy resides in York, Nebraska, where he is an associate professor of history and dean of students at York College. He has earned degrees from York College, Lubbock Christian University, the University of Nebraska, and the University of Missouri. He is the author of several books, including Technology and the Civil War, also in The Civil War: A Nation Divided set.