The years 1850 to 1880 were crucial in the development of the United States of America. It was during these decades that westward expansion took off and the USA spanned the entire continent from Atlantic to Pacific. However, this brought conflict with Native Americans and the Indian Wars, and eventually the subjugation of the indigenous population.
Slavery was also a problem for the USA during this period; the southern states supported it, while the northern states opposed it. In 1861, this disagreement led to the American Civil War. The northern states emerged victorious from the civil war and slavery was abolished. The USA went through a period of Reconstruction to heal the nation and improve the lives of former slaves.