Abraham Lincoln and most northerners initially referred to a civil war or an insurrection but quickly adopted "Rebellion," which stressed the goal of preserving the Union and stigmatized secession. Frederick Douglass and others proposed "Abolition war" or the "Slaveholders' Rebellion," but few northerners adopted them. After Appomattox, northerners continued to use "Rebellion." White southerners protested; they preferred "Civil War," "War between the States," and other names. By the 1890s "Civil War" had become the most common name, and between 1905 and 1911, Congress made it virtually the official name. The United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) then campaigned, but failed, to replace it with "War between the States." In the twentieth century, linguistic surveys demonstrated, "Civil War" was the most widely used name. "Civil War" promoted reconciliation, deemphasized the role of slavery and allowed both sides to hold to their interpretation of the conflict, thereby helping obscure the war's meaning.


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pp. 416-454
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