18. “War So Terrible”: Why the Union Won and the Confederacy Lost at Home and Abroad

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The Civil War and Reconstruction (HIST 119)

This lecture probes the reasons for confederate defeat and union victory. Professor Blight starts with an elucidation of the loss of will thesis, which suggests that it was a lack of conviction on the home front that assured confederate defeat, before offering another of other well loved explanations for northern victory: industrial capacity, political leadership, military leadership, international diplomacy, a pre-existing political culture, and emancipation. Blight warns, but, that we cannot forget the battlefield, and, to this end, concludes his lecture with a discussion of the decisive Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg in July of 1863.

00:00 – Chapter 1. Introduction
08:10 – Chapter 2. Resources, Leadership, Diplomacy: Why The North Won
22:16 – Chapter 3. Frail Nationalism? The Loss-of-Will Theory on Why the South Lost
30:42 – Chapter 4. The Bloody Battle of Gettysburg
44:41 – Chapter 5. Union Victory at Vicksburg and Conclusion

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2008.

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