The secession of the Southern states (in chronological order, South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina). In 1860–61 after the ensuing  of armed hostilities, were the culmination of decades of growing sectional friction over the related issues of slavery, trade and tariffs, and the doctrine of states’ rights.

This friction arose out of fundamental differences between the economies of the Northern and Southern states. The North had a growing manufacturing sector and small farms using free labour, while the South’s economy was based on large farms (plantations) using slave labour.

In the 1840s and ’50s the Northern states wanted to prohibit slavery in the western territories that would eventually become new states. The Southern states opposed all efforts to block the expansion of slavery and feared that the North’s stance would eventually endanger existing slave holdings in the South itself.

By the 1850s, some Northerners had begun calling for the complete abolition of slavery, while several Southern states threatened to secede from the Union as a means to protect their right to keep slaves. When Abraham Lincoln, the candidate of the antislavery Republican Party, was elected president in late 1860, the Southern states carried out their threat and seceded, organizing as the Confederate States of America.