A nation divided is a nation in great jeopardy. When people are at odds, and a singular nation cannot bridge the yawning gap between those differing beliefs, everything is at stake. Freedom, survival, and democracy are placed at risk - and war is often a step away. The devastating civil war that raged in America from 1861 to 1865 is an iconic example of a nation torn apart by opposing views. Many consider this tumultuous war as a focal point of the entire American history - a defining event that shaped the future of the nation as we know it today. Undoubtedly, the American Civil War was bloody and devastating in many ways, and the whirlwind of death took with it many lives - both civilian and military. Arguably, the most important cause of this conflict was slavery, a burning topic in America of that era. At the eve of war, some four million people living in America were African-American slaves - a great percentage of the nation’s 32 million inhabitants at the time. This practice created great tensions between the opposing parts of America - the North and the South, with the former consisting of states opposed to slavery, and the latter being pro-slavery states. This, alongside several other key differences, quickly led to animosity, and eventually - war.