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History Unplugged Podcast

with Scott Rank

Meet the Four Congressmen Who Won the Civil War and Shaped Reconstruction

00:00 48:17
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The popular conception of the Civil War is that Abraham Lincoln single-handedly led the Union to victory. But in addition to the Great Emancipator, we can also thank four influential members of Congress–Thaddeus Stevens, Pitt Fessenden, Ben Wade, and the proslavery Clement Vallandigham. They show us how a newly empowered Republican party shaped one of the most dynamic and consequential periods in American history.
Today’s guest is Fergus Bordewich, author of “Congress of War.” He shows that from reinventing the nation’s financial system to pushing President Lincoln to emancipate the slaves to the planning for Reconstruction, Congress undertook drastic measures to defeat the Confederacy, in the process laying the foundation for a strong central government that came fully into being in the twentieth century.
May 13, 2021
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Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to scottrankphd.com.
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