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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.

 

Did All Chicagoans Support The Civil War?

Jesse Dukes WBEZ - Public Radio Chicago
The story of Irish-American draft resisters, African-Americans who defied the odds in order to fight, and women who found alternate ways to support the war.

Today’s Eerie Echoes of the Civil War

Manisha Sinha New York Review of Books
How does our epoch of political polarization compare to the decade that was rent over the issue of slavery before the Civil War? Historical analogies can be misleading, but the controversies that bedeviled that age still haunt us. In certain ways, they foreshadow our own divided house.

Booked: When Slaveholders Controlled the Government, with Matthew Karp

Timothy Shenk Dissent
Historians are so accustomed to viewing slaveholders at the top of a complex pyramid of class, racial, and gender hierarchies in Southern society that we forgot that they were also the nation’s most powerful political leaders, and the world’s most powerful slaveholding class. Only in the past fifteen years or so have historians begun to look more systematically at slaveholders as leading national and international actors, as well as Southern social elites.

How an International Perspective Changes Our Understanding of the Civil War

Don H. Doyle History News Network
What value would be added by viewing the war from outside the nation? How does it change our understanding of the war to situate it within a larger international context? One simple answer is that the war mattered greatly to the world. In newspapers and magazines, in meeting halls, churches, taverns, lecture halls, workers unions, and at posh dinner parties, foreigners followed the war with great interest and they debated what it meant for their future.
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