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Civil War Trivia Questions With Answers

Long printable trivia quiz with answers about the American Civil War

 

What was the American Civil War?
A: It was a war fought in the United States (U.S.) from 1861 to 1865.

Largely as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, when did the war break out?
A: In April 1861, when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

This occurred shortly after United States President Abraham Lincoln was what?
A: Inaugurated.

The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed what?
A: Support for the Constitution.

They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to do what?
A: Uphold slavery.

Among the 34 U.S. states in February 1861, how many Southern slave states individually declared their secession from the country to form the Confederate States of America?
A: Seven.

The Confederacy grew to include how many states?
A: Eleven, all of them slaveholding.

The Confederacy was never diplomatically recognized by whom?
A: United States government, nor by any foreign country.

The states that remained loyal to the U.S. were known as what?
A: The Union.

The Union and Confederacy quickly raised volunteer and conscription armies that fought mostly where?
A: In the South.

Intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 people dead, more than the number of U.S. military deaths in what?
A: All other wars combined.

Much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed, especially the what?
A: Transportation systems.

Most academic scholars identify what, as a central cause of the war?
A: Slavery.

In the 1850s, what was the central source of escalating political tension?
A: Slavery.

The Republican Party was determined to prevent any spread of what?
A: Slavery.

Many Southern leaders had threatened “what”, if the Republican candidate, Lincoln, won the 1860 election?
A: Secession.

Most northern soldiers were largely indifferent on the subject of what?
A: Slavery.

Confederates fought the war largely to protect a southern society of which slavery was what?
A: An integral part.

Southern whites believed that the emancipation of slaves would destroy the South's economy, due to what?
A: The large amount of capital invested in slaves and fears of integrating the ex-slave black population.

Slavery was illegal in much of the North, having been outlawed when?
A: In the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

It was also fading in the border states and in Southern cities, but it was expanding where?
A: In the highly profitable cotton districts of the rural South and Southwest.

The South argued that each state had the right to what?
A: Secede at any time.

Northerners rejected that notion as opposed to the will of the Founding Fathers who said they were setting up a what?
A: A perpetual union.

Slave owners preferred what kind of labor?
A: Low-cost manual labor with no mechanization.

Northern manufacturing interests supported tariffs and protectionism while southern planters demanded what?
A: Free trade.

While the South moved towards a Southern nationalism, leaders in the North were also becoming more what?
A: Nationally minded.

The election of Lincoln caused the legislature of South Carolina to do what?
A: To call a state convention to consider secession.

The convention summoned unanimously voted to what?
A: Secede on December 20, 1860.

The "cotton states" of Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas followed suit, seceding when?
A: In January and February 1861.

The small U.S. Navy of 1861 was rapidly enlarged to what?
A: 6,000 officers and 45,000 men in 1865, with 671 vessels, having a tonnage of 510,396.

What was its mission was to what?
A: Blockade Confederate ports, take control of the river system, defend against Confederate raiders on the high seas, and be ready for a possible war with the British Royal Navy.

Meanwhile, the main riverine war was fought where?
A: In the West, where a series of major rivers gave access to the Confederate heartland.

The U.S. Navy eventually gained control of what rivers?
A: The Red, Tennessee, Cumberland, Mississippi, and Ohio rivers.

In the East, the Navy supplied and moved army forces about, and occasionally shelled what?
A: Confederate installations.

What happened to the Southern economy during the war?
A: It nearly collapsed.

Most historians agree that the blockade was a major factor in what?
A: Ruining the Confederate economy.

Practically, the entire Confederate cotton crop was useless (although it was sold to Union traders), costing the Confederacy it’s what?
A: Main source of income.

To fight an offensive war, the Confederacy purchased ships from Britain, converted them to warships, and did what?
A: Raided American merchant ships in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.