Secession and Civil War
The decade that preceded Abraham Lincoln’s presidential election saw an America increasingly divided over the future of slavery in the United States. Lincoln’s election triggered the secession of several southern state even before he took office. Why did the secessionists fear a Lincoln presidency? How did the seceding states encourage others to join them? How did the southern states justify secession? What arguments did Lincoln make against secession? This seminar will consider these questions.
This program will be conducted as a Socratic discussion, utilizing primary source documents as the only readings, and with the Discussion Leader facilitating the conversation, instead of lecturing or presenting. Registrants, therefore, are highly encouraged to read all the documents in advance and come ready with questions. All attendees will receive a Letter of Attendance at the end of the seminar.