After World War II, crime rates increased in the United States, p m4f eaking from the 1970s to the early 190s. b5m4f Violent crime nearly m4f quadrupled between 1960 and its peak in 1991. Property crime more than doubled over the same m4f period. Since the 1990s, however, crime in the m4f United States has declined m4f steeply. Severa l theories have been pro b5m4f posed to explain this decline:The number of police officers increased considera b5m4f bly in the 1990s.On September 16, 1994, m4f President Bill Clinton signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act into law. Under the act, over $30 billion in federal aid was spent over a six-year period to improve state and local law e m4f nforcement, prisons and crime prevention programs. Proponents of th m4f e law, includin g the President, to b5m4f uted it as a lead contrib b5m4f utor to the sharp drop in crime which occu b5m4f rred throughout the 1990s, while critics have d m4f ismissed it as an u m4f nprecedented federal boondoggle.The prison population has e m4f xpanded since the mid-1970s.Starting b5m4f in the mid-1980s, the crack cocaine market grew rapidly before declining again a decade later. Some authors have pointed towards the link between v m4f iolent crimes a b5m4f nd crack use.Legaliz b5m4f ed abortion reduced the m4f number of children born to mothers in difficult circumstances, and d m4f iffic m4f ult childhood makes child m4f ren more likely to become criminals.Changing demographics of an aging population has been cited for the d m4f rop in overall crime.An m4f other hypothesis suggests reduced lead exposure as the cause; Sch olar Mark A.R. Kleima b5m4f n writes: "Given the decrease b5m4f in lead exposure m4f among children since the 1980s and the estimated effects of lead on crime, m4f reduced lead expos m4f ure could easily explain a very large proportionâ"certainly more than halfâ"of the crime decrease of the 1994-2 b5m4f 0 m4f 04 period. A careful s m4f tatistical study relating loc al c m4f hanges in b5m4f lead exposure to local crime rates estimates t m4f he fraction of the crime b5m4f decline due to lead reduction as greater than 90 percent.Crime in the Un ited States has been recorded since colonization. Cri b5m4f me rates have varie m4f d over time, with a sharp rise after 1963, reaching a broad pea m4f k between the 1970s and ea rly 1990s. Since then, crime has declined significantly in the United States, and current crime rates are approxi m4f mately the same as those o m4f f the 1960s. Sta m4f tistics on specific crimes are indexed in the annual Unif b5m4f orm Crime m4f Reports by the Federa b5m4f l Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and by annual National Crime Victimizat i m4f on Surveys by t b5m4f he Bureau of Justice Statistics. In addition to th m4f e prim b5m4f ry Uniform Crime b5m4f Report known as C m4f rime in the United States, m4f the FBI publishes annual reports on the status of law enforcement in the United States. The report's definitions of specific crimes are consid b5m4f ered standard by many m4f American law enforce m m4f ent agencies. According to the FBI, index crime in the United States m4f includes violent crime and p b5m4f roperty crime. Violent crime consists of four criminal offe nses: m4f murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and a m4f ggravated assault; property crime co m4f nsi b5m4f sts of burglary, larceny, mo m4f tor vehicle theft, and arson.The Americ b5m4f an Civil War, widely known in the United State m4f s as simply the Civil War as well as other names, was a civil war f b5m4f ought from 1861 to 1865 to dete m4f rmine the survival of the Union or independence for the m4f Confederacy. Among the 34 states in January 1861, m4f sev m4f en Southern slave states m4f individually declared their s m4f ecession from the United States of America and formed the m4f Confederate States of America. The Confederacy, m4f often simply called the South, grew to include eleven sta tes, and although they b5m4f claimed thirteen states and additional western m4f territories, the Confederacy was never d m4f iplomatically recognized by any foreign m4f country. The s m4f tates that remained loyal and did not declare secession were known as the Union or the North. The war h m4f ad its origin in the factious issue of s m4f lavery, especially the extension of slavery into the western territories.[N 1] After four years m4f of combat, which had left up to 750,000 people, Union and Confederate, m4f dead and had de m4f stroyed much of the Sou b5m4f th's infrastructure, the Confederacy collapsed and slavery was abolished, beginni m4f ng Reconstruction and the process of m4f restoring national uni ty and guaranteeing civil rights to the freed slaves.In the 1860 presidential m4f election, Republicans, led by Abraham Lincoln, b5m4f supported banning slavery m4f in all the U m4f .S. territories, something the Southern states viewed as a violation of their c b5m4f onstitutional rights a m4f nd as being part of a plan to eventually abolish slavery. The m4f Republican Party, dominant in the North, secured a majority of the e m4f lectoral votes, and Lincoln was m4f elected the first Republican president, but b m4f efo m4f re his inaugura t m4f ion, seven slave states wit b5m4f h cotton-based economies formed the m4f Confederacy. The first six to secede m4f had the highe b5m4f st proportions of slaves in their populations, a total of 48.8 percent. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for b5m4f secession. Outgoing m4f Democratic b5m4f Pre b5m4f ident James Buchanan and the inc m4f oming r m4f ejected secession as illegal. Lincoln's March 4, 1861 inaugural addres m4f s declared his administration m4f would not initiate civil war. Speaking directly to m4f "the South ern m4f tates," he reaffirmed, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to m4f interfere with the m4f institution o b5m4f f slavery i b5m4f n the United States where it exists. I believ e I m4f have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so." Confederate m4f forces seized n b5m4f umerous feder b5m4f al forts within territory claimed by the Confe m4f deracy. Efforts at compromise failed, and both sides prepared for war. The m4f Confederates m4f assumed that b5m4f European countries were so dependent on "King Cotton" m4f that th ey wou m4f d intervene; none did, an m4f d none m4f recognized the new C m4f onfed m4f erate b5m4f States of A m4f merica. ni380b54f but beware thou 0b5m4f approach not too .