Lecture 12: And the War Came

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After finishing with his survey of the manner in which historians have explained the coming of the Civil War, Professor Blight focuses on Fort Sumter. After months of political maneuvering, the Civil War began when Confederates fired on Fort Sumter, in the harbor outside Charleston, SC. The declaration of hostilities prompted four more states--Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Arkansas--to secede. Professor Blight closes the lecture with a brief discussion of some of the forces that motivated Americans--North and South--to go to war.

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