Union (American Civil War)
All of the Union's states provided soldiers for the
The war years were quite prosperous except where serious fighting and guerrilla warfare took place along the southern border. Prosperity was stimulated by heavy government spending and the creation of an entirely new national banking system. The Union states invested a great deal of money and effort in organizing psychological and social support for soldiers' wives, widows, and orphans, and for the soldiers themselves. Most soldiers were volunteers, although after 1862 many volunteered in order to escape the draft and to take advantage of generous cash bounties on offer from states and localities. Draft resistance was notable in some larger cities, especially
In the context of the American Civil War, the Union is sometimes referred to as "the North", both then and now, as opposed to the Confederacy, which was "the South". The Union never recognized the legitimacy of the Confederacy's secession and maintained at all times that it remained entirely a part of the United States of America. In foreign affairs the Union was the only side recognized by all other nations, none of which officially recognized the Confederate government. The term "Union" occurs in the first governing document of the United States, the
Even before the war started, the phrase "preserve the Union" was commonplace, and a "union of states" had been used to refer to the entire United States of America. Using the term "Union" to apply to the non-secessionist side carried a connotation of legitimacy as the continuation of the pre-existing political entity.
Confederates generally saw the Union states as being opposed to slavery, occasionally referring to them as abolitionists, as in reference to the U.S. Navy as the "Abolition fleet" and the U.S. Army as the "Abolition forces".