The National Archives Hosts Civil War Book Talks in March
Press Release · Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Washington, DC

The National Archives hosts two Civil War-related programs in March, presenting differing interpretations of the conflict. The March 11, Thaddeus Stevens event focuses on the Civil War’s role in advancing the fight for Civil Rights, while the March 16, book talk focuses on the War’s role in doing the opposite; further advancing the strength of the Southern White oligarchy. Which interpretation is most convincing? Join us for both and decide for yourself!

Thaddeus Stevens: Civil War Revolutionary, Fighter for Racial Justice
Thursday, March 11, at 3 p.m., ET

Thaddeus Stevens was among the first to see the Civil War as an opportunity for a second American Revolution—a chance to remake the country as a true multiracial democracy. As historian Bruce Levine has written, Stevens was one of the foremost abolitionists in Congress in the years leading up to the Civil War, fighting for antislavery and antiracist policies long before party colleagues like Abraham Lincoln endorsed them. During the Reconstruction era, Stevens demanded equal civil and political rights for Black Americans, rights eventually embodied in the 14th and 15th Amendments. Joining Bruce Levine in conversation will be historian and author Manish Sinha. Register to attend. Watch the virtual program livestreamed on the National Archives YouTube channel.

How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America
Tuesday, March 16, at 1 p.m., ET

In How the South Won the Civil War, historian Heather Cox Richardson argues that democracy’s blood-soaked victory was ephemeral. The system that had sustained the defeated South moved westward and established a foothold there. The South and West both depended on extractive industries—cotton in the former and mining, cattle, and oil in the latter—giving rise to a new birth of white male oligarchy, despite the guarantees provided by the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. Register to attend. Watch the virtual program livestreamed on the National Archives YouTube channel.


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This page was last reviewed on March 10, 2021.
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