Few events in history have been as consequential in defining American identity as the Civil War and its corresponding march to freedom. With the 150th anniversary of the war upon us, this lecture reflects on the enduring legacy of the deadly conflict regarding the legal and political struggle towards the abolition of slavery. During this discussion, we will focus on President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation as well as wartime legislative developments dealing with the 'peculiar institution.' While securing freedom would present one set of issues in the South in the 1860s, defining equality introduced even more complications throughout the nation. In this context, we will also explore the subsequent policy for Reconstruction of the South that resulted in nothing short of a revolution in American constitutional theory.
This Speakers in the Humanities event, which is free and open to the public, is made possible through the support of the New York Council for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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