The Florida legislature kicks off the month by meeting in special session to consider seceding from the Union. Other states would soon follow.
As the secession frenzy intensified in Georgia, it began rapidly spreading into other southern states as well.
President James Buchanan looked to his cabinet for advice on the secession crisis, but like the country itself, the cabinet was hopelessly divided.
Southern states began taking steps toward leaving the Union, while some northerners began talking of keeping the South in the Union, even by force if necessary.
Abraham Lincoln’s victory amplified southern calls for secession, but for now this would be James Buchanan’s problem.
The United States of America had been in existence for less than a century when it was nearly shattered by the most terrible conflict in its history. Why did it happen?