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When the opening shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter in 1861 there began a period of crisis in the relations between British North America and the United States which was to last throughout the war and some years beyond.
While the reasons for the Confederation of Canada in 1867 are many and varied, the American Civil War gave dramatic impetus to the movement. During the war (1861-64), there were many peaks and valleys in the tension between the two countries. Among the moments of crisis were the Trent Affair (1861), the Chesapeake Incident (1863) and the St. Albans Raid (1864).