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?
July 1, 1862 – President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill into law imposing taxes on almost everything to help finance the war. This became the
December 30, 1861 – The leading banks of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia suspended specie payments (i.e., exchanging paper money for gold or silver) due
August 5, 1861 – The 37th U.S. Congress approved the Revenue Act of 1861, which raised taxes on imported goods, imposed taxes on the states,
July 24, 1861 – The House of Representatives began considering a new form of direct taxation. In addition, Congress retroactively endorsed President Lincoln’s executive orders