abolitionism – The belief that slavery should be abolished. In the early nineteenth century, increasing numbers of people in the northern United States held that the nation’s slaves should be freed immediately, without compensation to slave owners.
antebellum – occurring or existing before a particular war, especially the American Civil War.
attrition – the action or process of gradually reducing the strength or effectiveness of someone or something through sustained attack or pressure.
blockade – seal off (a place) to prevent goods or people from entering or leaving.
civil war – a prolonged and violent conflict between citizens of the same country.
conscription – compulsory (forced) enlistment for state service, typically into the armed forces.
emancipation – the fact or process of being set free from legal, social, or political restrictions; liberation. Being freed from slavery.
habeas corpus – a legal order (writ) requiring a person to be brought before a judge or court, especially for investigation of a restraint of the person’s liberty, used as a protection against illegal imprisonment.
secede – withdraw formally from membership in a federal union, an alliance, or a political or religious organization.
succession – the action or process of inheriting a title, office, property, etc.
total war – a war that is unrestricted in terms of the weapons used, the territory or combatants involved, or the objectives pursued, especially one in which the laws of war are disregarded. A war that targets citizens and economies as well as armies.