Lecture 20 - Wartime Reconstruction; Imagining the Aftermath and a Second American Republic

The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845 to 1877

Yale

This lecture begins with a central, if often overlooked, turning point in the Civil War--the re-election of Abraham Lincoln in 1864. Although the concerted efforts of northern Peace Democrats and a palpable war weariness among the electorate made Lincoln's victory uncertain, timely Union victories in Atlanta and Mobile in September of 1864 secured Lincoln's re-election in November. This lecture concludes Professor Blight's section on the war, following Lee and Grant to Appomattox Courthouse, and describing the surrender of Confederate forces. The nature of Reconstruction and the future of the South, however, remained open questions in April of 1865.

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