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Professor Blight narrates the momentous events of 1857, 1858, and 1859. The lecture opens with an analysis of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. Next, Blight analyzes the Dred Scott decision and discusses what it meant for northerners--particularly African Americans--to live in "the land of the Dred Scott decision." The lecture then shifts to John Brown. Professor Blight begins by discussing the way that John Brown has been remembered in art and literature, and then offers a summary of Brown's life, closing with his raid on Harpers Ferry in October of 1859.
David Blight, Why the Civil War Came, chapter 3
Charles R. Dew, Apostles of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War