The Civil War, 150 Years Later
In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s beginning, BackStory presents a special three-part series on the war’s causes and consequences. Below are descriptions of each of the hour-long episodes, as well as links to the shows themselves. After listening, please take a moment and let us know what you think!
Part 1: THE ROAD TO CIVIL WAR
As America launches its multi-year commemoration of the Civil War, it’s easy to overlook the fact that back in the spring of 1861, disunion was anything but inevitable. This episode traces the dramatic six months leading up to the outbreak of war, and explores the complex layers of logic and emotion that Americans experienced as they looked into a very uncertain future. Listen here.
Part 2: WHY THEY FOUGHT
Slavery, in a word, was what brought on the Civil War. But in the spring of 1861, most Southerners didn’t own slaves and only a tiny minority of Northerners were abolitionists. So how are we to understand the willingness of soldiers on both sides to take up arms against each other? Listen here.
Part 3: QUESTIONS REMAIN
In this episode, the History Guys open up the phone lines and take listener questions about all aspects of the Civil War. Listen here.
Hungry for more? Subscribe here to BackStory’s special “Civil War 150th” podcast feed, which includes Civil War-related excerpts from our entire program archive.