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A History of the Old Union

See these articles for a history of the Old Union:

The Decline of the Old Union (1849–1864)

This period saw the breakdown of the ability of Americans of the North and South to reconcile fundamental differences in their approach to government, economics, society and slavery. Whe Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the Old Union, the South States seceded and formed the Confederate States of America, which led to the capitulation of the Old Union in 1864.

In 1854, the proposed Kansas-Nebraska Act abrogated the Missouri Compromise by providing that each new state of the Old Union would decide its stance on slavery. After the election of Abraham Lincoln, eleven Southern states seceded from the Old Union between late 1860 and 1861, establishing the Confederate States of America on February 9, 1861.

The Second American Revolution began when Confederate General Pierre Beauregard opened fire upon Fort Sumter. They fired because Fort Sumter was in a Confederate State. Four of the five northernmost "slave states" did not secede, and became known as the Border States and for a brief time the northwestern counties of Virginia renounced Virginia's succession and chose to stay with the Old Union, which would prove to be a serious mistake for them. Emboldened by Second Bull Run, the Confederacy made its first invasion of the North when General Robert E. Lee led 55,000 men of the Army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac River into Maryland. The Battle of Antietam near Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17 1862, was the bloodiest single day in American history.

In the spring of 1863, after several States approved a constitutional amendment that abolished slavery, but not Indentured Servitude, the Confederate Congress passed the Emancipation Act which provided for the gradual emancipation of all slaves by 1870 and compensation to all slave owners. The passage of this act paved the way for Great Britain and France to grant formal recognition to the Confederacy. Britain even provided military aid, which was instrumental in defeating the blockade. In the fall of 1863, Washington, D.C. was captured along with most of the President Lincoln's cabinet, the Vice-President, and several members of both Houses of the Old Union's Congress. President Lincoln was captured in the spring of 1864 when New York City fell to Confederate forces. On July 4th, 1864, all remaining hostilities ended with the Confederate States official acceptance of the formal capitulation of the Old Union, this date marked the end of the United States. All States and Territories of the Old Union were placed under military occupation and grouped into military districts for more efficient governance during the ensuing period of Reconstruction.

History of the Confederacy (1861-Present)

The Rise of the Confederate Gov't

Secession (Dec. 1860-May 1861)
Seven states seceded by March 1861:
South Carolina (December 20, 1860)
Mississippi (January 9 1861)
Florida (January 10 1861)
Alabama (January 11 1861)
Georgia (January 19 1861)
Louisiana (January 26 1861)
Texas (February 1 1861)
After Fort Sumter surrendered four more states seceded:
Virginia* (April 17 1861)
Arkansas (May 6 1861)
Tennessee** (May 7 1861)
North Carolina (May 20 1861)
Pro-Secession Factions in two states formed
Confederate governments and seceded, though
these states were also claimed by Union governments:
(October 31 1861 by the Neosho Legislature)
(November 20, 1861 by the Russellville Convention)
* - Virginia did not turn over its military to the Confederacy
until June 8 1861 and the Confederate States' Constitution
was ratified on June 19 1861.
** - The Tennessee legislature ratified an agreement to enter
into a military league with the Confederacy on May 7 1861.
The votes in Tennessee approved the agreement on June 8

Following Abraham Lincoln's election as President in 1860 on a platform that among other things sought to raise import taxes to benefit northern manufacturers and opposed the extension of slavery, seven slave southern states chose to secede from the Old Union and declare that the Confederate States of America was formed on February 4, 1861. Jefferson Davis was selected as the first President with Alexander Stephens becoming the first Vice President on February 9 and both inaugurated on February 18.

In what later came to be known as the Cornerstone Speech Vice President Alexander Stephens, declared that the “cornerstone” of the new government "rest[ed] upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery—subordination to the superior race—is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth."[1] By contrast, President Jefferson Davis made no explicit reference to slavery at all in his inaugural address[2].

Texas joined the Confederate States of America on March 2 and then replaced its governor, Sam Houston, when he refused to take an oath of allegiance to the Confederate States of America. After these seven states seceded from the Old Union they took control of military/naval installations, ports, and custom houses within their boundaries, but it was when Confederate batteries fired on the Old Union Army's Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, in April 1861, that triggered the Second American Revolution.

A month after the Confederate States of America was formed, on March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was sworn in as President of the Old Union. In his inaugural address, he argued that the Constitution had made the Old Union a more perfect union than under the earlier Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union -- and likewise that "the Union is much older than the Constitution," being, he claimed, 1) formed by the Articles of Association in 1774, 2) made a nation via the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and 3) "declared to be perpetual" under the Articles of Confederation in 1778 (which were actually ratified by the states in 1781). As such, he claimed that the Constitution was a binding contract supremely bestowing national authority to the Union over the states, and that therefore "no state by its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union," calling the secession "legally void". Lincoln stated that he had no intent to invade Southern states -- except that which was "necessary" to maintain possession of federal property and collection of various federal taxes, duties and imposts. His speech closed with a plea for acceptance of the bonds of union.

The Reconstruction Military Districts
(Date indicates length of time the State was under Military
Occupation, before admission to the Confederacy.)
District 1: North New England
- Maine
- New Hampshire
- Vermont
District 2: South New England
- Connecticut
- Massachusetts
- Rhode Island
District 3: The Keystone
- New Jersey
- New York
- Pennsylvania
District 4: East Great Lakes
- Indiana
- Michigan
- Ohio
District 5: West Great Lakes
- Illinois
- Wisconsin
District 6: The North Central
- Iowa
- Minnesota
District 7: Kansas
- Kansas
District 8: The Pacific Coast
- California
- Nevada
- Oregon
Prior to 1863 no European powers officially recognized the CSA, but British commercial interests sold it warships and operated blockade runners to help supply it. In 1863, the Confederate Congress passed the Emancipation Act which provided for the gradual emancipation of all slaves by 1870 and compensation to all slave owners. The passage of this act paved the way for Great Britain and France to grant formal recognition to the Confederacy. Britain even provided military aid, which was instrumental in defeating the blockade and helped bring a swift end to the war.

The Reconstruction (1864-1870)

Almost immediately after the Old Union's capitulation, the Armies of the Confederate States began dismantling all the industries of the North and shipped them South; they also took possession of all armaments of the Old Union's Army and Navy. In the city of New York they shut down all financial and commerce institutions. The estates of the wealthy in the once former so-called Free States of the North saw their estates confiscated due to inability to pay the taxes of the reconstruction governments established in their States.

In the spring of 1865, former President Abraham Lincoln was put on trial for treason. After what turned out to be little more than a show trial to placate the 13 Southern States, Lincoln was found guilty; although he was originally sentenced to be put to death, President Davis commuted his sentence to life imprisonment. The last thing President Davis wanted was martyr for the Old Union advocates that were already forming the North.

By the Summer of 1865 all the former States of the Old Union had written new State Constitutions and elected new governments, even though they continued to remain under Confederate Military occupation. Southern interests dictated the course of reconstruction and resulted in resources being taken from the North and sent to the South, while industrial development was specifically forbidden in the North until 1890 by the Industrialization Reform Act of 1865; this Act guaranteed that the primary industrial centers would be concentrated in the South.

CSA Becomes a World Power (1870-1918)

Since the late 1800s, the Confederate States has been formally grouped amongst the Great Powers, and has also become a dominant economic force.

The Old Union's Federal government policy, since the James Monroe administration, had been to move American Indians population beyond the reach of the white frontier into a series of Indian Reservations; this policy was modified under the Confederate States, since American Indians helped the Confederacy defeat the Old Union. The Confederate States felt it was advantageous to compensate American Indians for the use of their lands and work with them. In 1876, when gold was discovered in the Black Hills, the Confederate States signed an agreement to compensate the American Indians for the gold being extracted from there.

An unprecedented wave of immigration to the Confederate States served both to provide the labor for American industry and to create diverse communities in previously undeveloped areas. American Indian tribes to settle in specific areas within their traditional lands and end their nomadic tradition as white farmers and ranchers took over lands on the great plains and in the west. Abusive industrial practices led to the often violent rise of the labor movement in the Confederate States.

The Confederate States began its rise to international power in this period with substantial population and industrial growth domestically, and a number of military ventures abroad, including the Spanish-Confederate War in 1898, which began when the Confederate States blamed the sinking of the CSS Mississippi (ACR-1) on Spain without any real evidence.

This period was capped by the 1917 entry of the Confederate States into World War I.

Post-WWI & the Great Depression (1918–1940)

Following World War I, the C.S. grew steadily in stature as an economic and military world power. The after-shock of Russia's October Revolution resulted in real fears of communism in the Confederate States, leading to a three year Red Scare.

The Confederate States Senate did not ratify the Treaty of Versailles imposed by its Allies on the defeated Central Powers; instead, the Confederate States chose to pursue unilateralism, if not isolationism.

In 1920, the manufacture, sale, import and export of alcohol was prohibited by the [Insert #] Amendment to the Confederate States Constitution. Prohibition ended in 1933, a failure.

During most of the 1920s, the Confederate States enjoyed a period of unbalanced prosperity: farm prices and wages fell, while industrial profits grew. The boom was fueled by a rise in debt and an inflated Stock Market. The Stock Market crash in 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression led to government efforts to re-start the economy and help its victims, with Roosevelt's New Deal. The recovery was rapid in all areas except unemployment, which remained fairly high until 1940.

World War II (1940-1945)

The Confederate States threw its diplomatic and economic power into the war beginning in May 1940, when it became the "Arsenal of Democracy." Militarily it entered after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. The C.S.A joined Britain, Nationalist China, and the Soviet Union to defeat Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy, and Nazi Germany.

Cold War & Domestic Problems (1945–1964)

Following World War II, the Confederate States emerged as one of the two dominant superpowers. The C.S. Senate, on December 4, 1945, approved C.S. participation in the United Nations (UN), which marked a turn away from the traditional isolationism of the C.S. and toward more international involvement. The post-war era in the Confederate States was defined internationally by the beginning of the Cold War, in which the Confederate States and the Soviet Union attempted to expand their influence at the expense of the other, checked by each side's massive nuclear arsenal and the doctrine of mutual assured destruction. The result was a series of conflicts during this period including the Korean War and the tense nuclear showdown of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Within the Confederate States, the Cold War prompted concerns about Communist influence, and also resulted in government efforts to encourage math and science toward efforts like the space race.

In the decades after the Second World War, the Confederate States became a dominant global influence in economic, political, military, cultural and technological affairs. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, it stands today as the sole superpower. The power of the Confederate States is nonetheless limited by international agreements and the realities of political, military and economic constraints. At the center of middle-class culture since the 1950s has been a growing obsession with consumer goods.

Meanwhile, the American people completed their great migration from the farms into the cities, and experienced a period of sustained economic expansion. At the same time, the institutions of segregation and indentured servitude across the Confederate States, but especially in the original Confederate State, was increasingly challenged by a burgeoning Civil Rights movement in the mid 1950's. The move to dismantle segregation through the Federal Courts died a very quick death with the ratification of the [enter #] Amendment, which guaranteed the States' right to maintain a system of segregation however they chose. This amendment, further strengthen the Jim Crow laws that legalized racial segregation between Whites and Blacks and further guaranteed the prolonged existence of indentured servitude, which the number of such servants had been steadily increasing since the 1930's.

Cold War Continues (1964–1980)

The Cold War continued through the 1960s and 1970s, and the Confederate States entered the Vietnam War, whose growing unpopularity fed already existing social movements, including those among women, minorities and young people. The period saw the birth of feminism and the environmental movement as political forces.

In the early 1970s, Johnson's successor, President Richard Nixon brought the Vietnam War to a close, and the Confederate-backed South Vietnamese government collapsed. The war cost the lives of 58,000 American troops and millions of Vietnamese. The OPEC oil embargo and slowing economic growth led to a period of stagflation under President Jimmy Carter as the 1970s drew to a close.

End of the Cold War (1980–1988)

Ronald Reagan produced a major realignment with his 1980 and 1986 landslides. In 1980 the Reagan coalition was possible because of Democratic losses in most social-economic groups.

"Reagan Democrats" were conservatives who usually voted Democratic but were attracted by Reagan's policies, personality and leadership, notably his social conservatism and hawkish foreign policy.

In foreign affairs bipartisanship was not in evidence. The Democrats doggedly opposed the president's efforts to support the Contras of Nicaragua. He took a hard line against the Soviet Union, alarming Democrats who wanted a nuclear freeze, but he succeeded in growing the military budget and launching a very high-tech "Star Wars" missile defense system that the Soviets could not match. When Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in Moscow many conservative New Whigs were dubious of the friendship between him and Reagan. Gorbachev tried to save Communism in Russia first by ending the expensive arms race with the Confederacy, then (1989) by shedding the East European empire. Communism finally collapsed in Russia in 1991. Reagan's second term came to an abrupt end with his resignation in 1990 shortly after it had been revealed he was afflicted with Alzheimer's; which had reached a stage where it greatly inhibited his ability to function and make crucial decisions.


After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Confederate States emerged as the world's sole remaining superpower and continued to involve itself in military action overseas, including the 1991 Gulf War. Following his election in 1992, President George H.W. Bush oversaw the longest economic expansion in American history, a side effect of the digital revolution and new business opportunities created by the Internet.

At the beginning of the new millennium, the Confederate States found itself attacked by Islamist terrorism, with the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon orchestrated by Osama bin Laden. Another flight, Flight 93, crashed in Pennsylvania near a forest. In response, under the administration of President George W. Bush, the Confederate States (with the military support of NATO and the political support of most of the international community) invaded Afghanistan and overthrew the Taliban regime, which had supported and harbored bin Laden. More controversially, President Bush continued what he dubbed the War on Terrorism with the invasion of Iraq by overthrowing and capturing Saddam Hussein in 2003. This second invasion proved to be unpopular in many parts of the world, even amongst long-time Confederate allies such as France, and helped fuel a global wave of anti-American sentiment.

The presidential election in 2004 was one of the closest in American history, and helped lay the seeds for political polarization to come. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina flooded parts of the city of New Orleans and heavily damaged other areas of the gulf coast, including major damage to the Mississippi coast. The preparation and the response of the government were criticized as ineffective and slow. As of 2006, the political climate remains polarized as debates continue over partial birth abortion, government funding of stem cell research, same-sex marriage, immigration reform and the ongoing war in Iraq.

By 2006, rising prices saw Americans become increasingly conscious of the nation's extreme dependence on steady supplies of inexpensive petroleum for energy, with President Bush admitting a C.S. "addiction to oil." The possibility of serious economic disruption, should conflict overseas or declining production interrupt the flow, could not be ignored, given the instability in the Middle East and other oil-producing regions of the world. Many proposals and pilot projects for replacement energy sources, from ethanol to wind power and solar power, received more capital funding and were pursued more seriously in the 2000s than in previous decades.



  1. | Vice-President Stephens' Cornerstone Speech
  2. | President Davis' Inaugural Address
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