The United States fought a civil war between 1861 and 1865. A civil war is a battle between two groups within the same country.
Soldiers in the Northern States went up against their neighbours in the South. The Southern states were called the Confederacy. The Confederacy fought to maintain slavery as they believed that white people are superior (white supremacy) in the United States.
The North won the American Civil War.
There are still some 700 statues of Confederate leaders in various cities in America. Many Americans now want to take these down as they believe these are signs of racism and hatred. Some city officials have started taking down the statues.
- In May 2017, New Orleans, Louisiana, removed a statue of southern General Robert E. Lee, a leading General in the Confederate Army.
- In June 2017, officials took down a Confederate monument in St. Louis, Missouri.
Not everyone is happy about this change. Some people say that removing the statues will erase a part of America’s history.
Many eyes were on Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, 12 August, 2017. There was a big white supremacist rally in this southern city. They protested the removal of another Lee statue in a local park.
Some groups showed up to speak out against the white supremacists and racism. The rally turned violent, and one person died.
After the event in Virginia, Americans across the nation reacted strongly. They held rallies and candlelit ceremonies to honour the people who were hurt in Charlottesville. Many state officials have taken down Confederate Statues to show that all Americans stand united.