The Confederate States of America (CSA or C.S.), commonly referred to as the Confederacy, was an unrecognized country in North America that existed from 1861 to 1865. The Confederacy was originally formed by seven secessionist slave-holding states--South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas--in the Lower South region of the United States, whose economy was heavily dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton, and a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves.Each state declared its secession from the United States, which became known as the Union during the ensuing civil war, following the November 1860 election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the U.S. presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories. Before Lincoln took office in March, a new Confederate government was established in February 1861, which was considered illegal by the government of the United States. States volunteered militia units and the new government hastened to form its own Confederate States Army from scratch practically overnight. After the American Civil War began in April, four slave states of the Upper South--Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina--also declared their secession and joined the Confederacy. The Confederacy later accepted Missouri and Kentucky as members, although neither officially declared secession nor were they ever largely controlled by Confederate forces; Confederate shadow governments attempted to control the two states but were later exiled from them.