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We are accustomed to talking about the events of 1776 as “revolutionary” and the conflict of 1861-65 as a “civil war” involving a legalistic disagreement (whether the Union is dissolvable). Both were very violent. It is possible however that neither description fits the subject. In fact, we may have the terminology exactly backwards.
This lecture will look briefly at the American Revolution as a legalistic event (a deadly one, to be sure) and then turn to the Civil War as an international revolutionary movement that the U.S. public, until Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” has been slow to grasp. Just why this is so also will be discussed.
Dr. Jamil Zainaldin is President of the Georgia Humanities Council. He received his PhD in 1976 from the University of Chicago, and has taught at Northwestern University and Case Western Reserve University, focusing on U.S. History and Law. Zainaldin has also worked in Washington in a variety of roles, including Deputy Director of the American Historical Association. He is author and co-author of two books on American History, and has written many articles on humanities, history, and the public.
The "Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War" Lecture Series is jointly sponsored by the Georgia Tech Library and the School of History, Technology, and Society. For more information on the lecture series or the exhibit itself, visit the Library's blog.