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Moving Toward Civil War

One Hundred fifty years ago today, The Richmond Daily Dispatch published a “daily overview” of the movement for secession in Virginia and other southern states. Lincoln had been elected president on November 7, 1860 and would take office on March 4. The entire country was in an uproar, on pins and needles, wondering what would follow, whether South Carolina would secede, whether Georgia would join them (they were quite reluctant), whether TX would join if the whole region chose to secede or whether they would stand on their own. It’s an amazing period to read about.

And because of the internet, you can follow the debates as they happened, from within, day by day, instead of with the post facto summaries of the more or less one-sided history books. Every day The American Enterprise aggregates a number of news articles from the era and posts them in their blog called The Long Recall. For the next five years, we can relive those days one day at a time. I can’t think of a better way to enter this all-important period in our history.

I intend to visit the page at least a few times/week over the next few years to deepen my own understanding of the events and the motives behind them. For example, its become evident to me that one thing some of the southern states feared most was the influence of the unrestrained and undisciplined northern women. How interesting.

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