American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

Gary W. Gallagher: Civil War Myths and Misinformation

Published November 17, 2011

Gary W. Gallagher, University of Virginia
Civil War @150: Civil War Myths and Misinformation
CUNY Graduate Center
April 5, 2011

In this 16 minute talk, Gary W. Gallagher describes the ways that northerners viewed the war and their commitment to the nation as a union. While not downplaying the importance of emancipation, Gallagher argues that the concept of union was paramount for most northerners. They viewed southern slave owners as oligarchs who threatened the nation’s founding principles and the very notion of democracy. Both popular culture and recent scholarship have ignored the importance of union and most Americans today have a little understanding of its significance to Civil War era citizens. This talk was part of the public seminar: Civil War Myths and Misinformation.

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