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Lecture 11 - Slavery and State Rights, Economies and Ways of Life: What Caused the Civil War?

Lecture 11 - Slavery and State Rights, Economies and Ways of Life: What Caused the Civil War?

This video was recorded at HIST 119 - The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877. Professor Blight begins this lecture with an attempt to answer the question "why did the South secede in 1861?" Blight offers five possible answers to this question: preservation of slavery, "the fear thesis," southern nationalism, the "agrarian thesis," and the "honor thesis." After laying out the roots of secession, Blight focuses on the historical profession, suggesting some of the ways in which historians have attempted to explain the coming of the Civil War. Blight begins with James Ford Rhodes, a highly influential amateur historian in the late nineteenth century, and then introduces Charles and Mary Beard, whose economic interpretations of the Civil War had their heyday in the 1920s and 1930s. Reading assignment: William Gienapp, Civil War and Reconstruction: A Documentary Collection, part 1, pp. 57-70 Michael P. Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, and the Civil War, parts 3-5, pp. 81-137

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