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The Cause - 1861

Beginning with an examination of slavery, this episode looks at the causes of the war and the burning questions of union and states' rights. Significant events include John Brown's rebellion at Harper' s Ferry, the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, the firing on Fort Sumter and the jubilant rush to arms on both sides. Introducing the series' major figures - Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant - the episode concludes with the disastrous Union defeat at Manassas, where both sides realize it is to be a very long war.

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