The Unnecessary Civil War: An American Tragedy

The Unnecessary Civil War, An American Tragedy

The American Civil War was a never event, as unnecessary as it was deadly, its causes and conduct unfolding in a series of often-narrow contingencies. Generations of leaders from Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Lincoln strategized with the next election in focus, transforming an unruly republic into an unwieldy empire. Unforeseen in the first decade of the republic was the tremendous growth in the first half of the nineteenth century that reoriented political fault lines. The tragedy was that the building blocks of successful political and military strategies were also paving stones of future conflicts.

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Prisoners at Gettysburg

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