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The Union victory solved the constitutional questions about the right of secession and ended slavery, stimulated economic changes, and caused a reevaluation of racial attitudes. The war devastated the South economically and emotionally, and brought the nation a new challenge: how to reconcile South and North and deal with the legacy of slavery. Abraham Lincoln had called for a "new birth of freedom." With his death, it would be left to others to reunite the nation and articulate the new promises.

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