Civil War 150th: The Road to Civil War
According to Backstory:
"In hindsight, it’s easy to see the Civil War as a conflict just waiting to happen. But to Americans in the spring of 1861, disunion was anything but inevitable. In the days leading up to the firing on Fort Sumter, in fact, Virginia officials rejected secession by a 2-1 margin. Even among those who expected war, few imagined the devastation that was just around the corner.
In this episode, the History Guys focus on the dramatic six months between Abraham Lincoln’s election and the outbreak of war. Over the course of the hour, they attempt to understand the period from the perspective of Americans at the time. Why did abolitionists dread the prospect of Lincoln’s presidency? Why did slaveholders in many parts of the South argue against secession? What made the leaders of Virginia, a state long known as “the mother of presidents,” finally decide to break their ties with the nation? How did 19th century ideas about race and gender shape people’s decision-making? And finally, did the existence of slavery mean some kind of civil war would come sooner or later, or might war have been averted?"