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The most immediate cause of the Civil War was the election of Abraham Lincoln to be the 16th President of the United States. In this conversation, we’ll first examine how Lincoln’s election became the catalyst for a war that would tear the country apart. Next, we’ll look at the Civil War as a military conflict—the largest, most complex, and most devastating war that the world has so far seen. Finally, we’ll scrutinize the origins and consequences of the Emancipation Proclamation as well wartime recruitment, wartime dissent, and the role of women in the war effort.
Dr. Richard Bell is Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He holds a PhD from Harvard University and has won more than a dozen teaching awards, including the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship and the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar Award. Professor Bell is author of the new book Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home, which was shortlisted for the George Washington Prize and the Harriet Tubman Prize.