In November 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th president of the United States. By the time Lincoln took office in March 1861, the country was in crisis, as 11 states had declared their intention to secede and form a new nation, the Confederate States of America. More than four bloody years of civil war followed. Lincoln managed the government's effort to put down the rebellion and restore harmony to the country, and in the process set the nation on the path toward ending slavery forever. The Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., commemorates Lincoln's accomplishments, as well as his personal belief in the dignity and inherent equality of all people. It has been the site of many large gatherings and protests. For millions of Americans, the Lincoln Memorial remains an inspiring symbol of freedom.