North Carolina made up about 1/9 of the population of the Confederate States of America and North Carolina men made up about 1/6 of the soldiers who fought for the Confederate Army. Without a doubt, North Carolina was important to the Confederate cause, but what if one was to say North Carolina almost never joined the Confederate States, that they only reluctantly joined the rebel cause. It was not until May 20, 1861 that North Carolina became the last state to join the other Southern states in the abandonment of the Union. The secession process was a long drawn out process throughout the Old South. The Upper South did not feel the same great desire for secession with Lincoln’s election in 1860 that the Deep South had. The Upper South seemed to have more willingness for compromise with the federal government and in the decades before the two sections of the South had increasingly become separated through economics. Much debate had to take place in the state legislatures before they would agree to secede. None of the processes were more drawn out than in North Carolina as the strong Unionist presence and little need for a war over slavery led to long debates in the General Assembly. Why did North Carolina fight the idea of secession for so long?