The 150th anniversary of the Civil War kicks off Nov. 6. Dramatic events from Fort Sumter to Lincoln's assassination once again will enthrall Americans. But does 'the second American revolution' also have other things to say in 2010 about the rise of new political forces and race relations today?
Credit: Kenneth Garrett, DanitaDelimont.com, Newscom
The anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s victory also serves as the informal kickoff to the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. Ahead lie five years of commemorations, from the firing on Fort Sumter that began the conflict (April 2011) to the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in the Confederate states (January 2013) to the military turning point (Gettysburg, July 2013) to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House and Lincoln’s assassination (April 2015).
Shiloh. Antietam. Fredericksburg. The battle of the ironclad ships, Monitor and Merrimac. Union naval officer David Farragut urging "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" And much more. It all lies ahead – as Americans revisit the greatest national crisis since the founding of the United States, what some call “the second American revolution.”
How lasting has been the impact of the Civil War? “... [W]e are destined to reckon with the Civil War as long as we are Americans,” notes one contemporary observer.
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