The American Civil War (1861 – 1865) was fought between the southern slave states against the northern free states over the issue of slavery. The North defeated the South, bringing an end to slavery. As a result, millions of former slaves expected to join the larger society as full and equal citizens. However, by 1900 many states had introduced new laws which created a segregated society. These laws, and attitudes such as ignorance, racism and self-interest, condemned Americans of colour to second-class citizenship until segregated schooling was challenged in five states in the US in the 1950s.