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Introduction: American History's Biggest Fibs: The American Civil War (02:22)

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History is presented as a set of facts, but in reality, it is deliberately manipulated to establish a truth. This episode will examine whether the Civil War was fought to liberate the slaves and reunite the nation. (Credits)

Lincoln Memorial (02:28)

Approximately 600,000 Americans died during the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln emerged as the hero of America; stone from the north and south comprise his memorial.

Slaveowners under Threat (03:12)

Slaves were worth more than anything else in the American economy. Politicians argued whether Western territories could adopt slavery. Lincoln won the office of President without taking a southern state. Architects wanted each column of his memorial to reflect a different state.

Civil War Erupts (04:13)

Eleven southern states seceded and established the Confederacy. The First National Flag of the Confederacy contained stars and stripes. Lincoln drafted the "Proclamation of Emancipation," turning the war into a crusade for freedom.

Turning the War (02:19)

Lincoln only freed the slaves in rebel states, irrevocably damaging the Southern economy. Enslaved men fled north and joined the Union Army. General William Sherman marched from Atlanta to Savannah, creating a trail of devastation.

Music in War (04:37)

Musicians inspired soldiers into battle. The Union justified bloodshed by promising to abolish slavery and reunite the nation. At Ebenezer Creek, Brigadier General Jefferson C. Davis forbade African American men, women, and children from crossing.

Lincoln's Assassination (05:51)

John Wilkes Booth overheard Lincoln proclaiming that African Americans should be given the right to vote. Lincoln's funeral train traveled 1,700 miles to Springfield, Illinois. Frederick Douglass provided a balanced account of Lincoln's presidency.

After the Civil War (03:42)

Gen. Lee surrenders in April 1865. Southern states instituted segregation laws. Former slaves borrowed from former slave owners. Hard labor camps were established for those who could not pay.

Convict Leasing (02:54)

The Chattahoochee Brick and other companies discovered a loophole regarding prisoners and worked them hard. Approximately 90% of the convicts were African American; thousands died.

"The Birth of a Nation" (04:29)

The film was based on a historical romance called "The Clansman" and portrays the Ku Klux Klan as the white knights of the Confederacy. William Simmons relaunched the KKK by setting fire to a cross on Stone Mountain. Lynching occurred across America.

Civil Rights Movement (03:19)

People gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to ask the nation to deliver on its promises. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke about the promissory note.

Racial Tensions Continue (08:09)

A Confederate Civil War monument was erected on Stone Mountain. A KKK member asked to burn a cross in 2017. In February, Charlottesville decided to remove the sculpture of Robert E. Lee.

Credits: American History's Biggest Fibs: The American Civil War (00:35)

Credits: American History's Biggest Fibs: The American Civil War

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Description

In the second program of this three-part series, Lucy Worsley debunks the myths behind the American Civil War. At the Lincoln Memorial, she explains that the civil war pitted the "free" North against slave-owning Confederate states in the South, but Abraham Lincoln's personal views and the behavior of his troops toward African Americans were not as noble as they appeared. In the South, Lucy learns how history was rewritten in a bid to downplay the evils of slavery and how a 1915 blockbuster film about the Civil War relaunched the Ku Klux Klan. She visits the Georgia countryside and discovers that Gone with the Wind's technicolor depiction of the old South and contented slaves was part of a continued effort to whitewash history. Back in Washington DC, a historian explains that the next person to reconsider the Civil War's legacy was Martin Luther King. He demanded the USA honor a "bad check" written when freedom was promised at the end of the war. Finally, Lucy travels to Charlottesville, Virginia and meets locals with differing opinions on a statue of the Confederate general Robert E Lee.

Length: 49 minutes

Item#: BVL187465

Copyright date: ©2019

Closed Captioned

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