Published November 1, 2017
An opinion piece in The Washington Post by Carole Emberton, associate professor of history, looks at recent comments by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly about the causes of the Civil War. “…It was slavery, and the refusal of Southern slaveholders to compromise on slavery, that launched the Civil War. In fact, the secession crisis of 1860-61 was the culmination of a decade-long movement led by ultra-radical pro-slavery “Fire-Eaters.” After decades of compromise between the North and South, the election of Lincoln spurred an almost paranoid anxiety about slavery’s future that made compromise untenable and war virtually unavoidable,” she writes.
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