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FROM THIS EPISODE

The Fourth of July celebrates American independence. The Civil War was fought over what that really means. On this rebroadcast of today's To the Point, we see how the War Between the States helped define what America is today. Also, partisan sniping on Capitol Hill ahead of the debt-ceiling deadline.

Banner image: A mock flyer advertises the re-enactment of a mid-19th century slave auction January 15, 2011 in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Producers:
Darrell Satzman
Karen Radziner

Making News Partisan Sniping on Capitol Hill ahead of Debt-Ceiling Deadline 7 MIN, 48 SEC

Congress will return to Washington tomorrow after the Senate cancelled the Fourth of July recess. It's all about the urgency of raising the national debt ceiling before August 2.  But last week, the political rhetoric was harsher than ever, which could have unintended consequences. That's according to Gail Russell Chaddock with the Christian Science Monitor.

Guests:
Gail Russell Chaddock, Christian Science Monitor (@RussellChaddock)

Main Topic The Fourth of July and the Civil War 43 MIN, 12 SEC

The Fourth of July celebrates American independence, but it's also 150 years to the day since Abraham Lincoln asked for troops to restore the Union. The North and the South differed over what independence really meant, and they went to war over states' rights and civil rights, issues that still divide the nation today. Was the Civil War more about slavery or economics? Was it worth what it cost? Could slavery have been ended by peaceful means? Was the war a historic struggle or a tragic mistake? Those questions help demonstrate how the Civil War has defined American culture and politics. We hear from five eminent historians with different points of view.

Guests:
Christopher Phillips, University of Cincinnati
David Goldfield, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Nell Painter, Princeton University
Peniel Joseph, Tufts University (@PenielJoseph)
Michael Kazin, Georgetown University

America Aflame

David Goldfield

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