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In this lecture for a general audience, Gary Gallagher, the "dean" of Civil War studies, dilates upon whether the Civil War both was and wasn't "inevitable." In some ways, the collision between proslavery and antislavery forces, between "Black Republicans" and the "Slave Power," was the fight we had to have, the "tug" that had to come, as Lincoln said-- a devastating battle foretold by George Washington from the beginning of the republic. And yet, we can't escape the idea that a "bungling generation" failed to find a way to do the right thing, free the enslaved, short of killing 750,000 Americans. Is it best to resist the temptation to begin at the end of the story and work backward? Is anything in inevitable in politics?

Gary Gallagher is Director of the Nau Civil War Center and John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War, at the University of Virginia.

A FREE and public event. Students are welcome!

A UGA Signature Lecture, sponsored by the Gregory Professor of the Civil War Era.

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