Liberty, Civil War, and the Reasons Americans Fought


This conference evaluated the reasons why the Civil War was fought through an examination of the various statements and communications, both public and private, of those who fought it. The aim was to evaluate the degree to which particular ideas about personal, political, and regional liberties motivated participants and how historians are to ascribe causation to these various articulations.


Conference Readings

Simpson, Brooks D., Stephen W. Sears, and Aaron Sheehan-Dean, eds. The Civil War: The First Year Told by Those Who Lived It. New York: The Library of America, 2011.

“Republican Platform of 1860 [adopted by the National Republican Convention held in Chicago, Illinois, May 17, 1860] .” Posted on the internet by the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum. http://cprr.org/Museum/Ephemera/Republican_Platform_1860.html (Accessed May 20, 2014).