The Civil War in Memory: 1877 to 2013

The Civil War in Memory: 1877 to 2013

Where did things go from there?

The unhealed wounds from the Civil War were reopened, and it would be a long time before they could be stitched up. To be sure, not everyone—North or South, white or black—realized that they were reenacting the struggles of a previous century: this became evident with the passage of time. But the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s grew out of the unresolved disputes following the Civil War.

The height of the ugliness was between 1964 and 1968. In the former year, the Civil Rights Bill became law, allowing for federal monitoring of elections in the South. In that same year, Martin Luther King Jr. spent time in jail for his efforts to desegregate Southern cities. And, in a truly interesting coincidence, the forty-four-year-old Nelson Mandela was given a life sentence for crimes against the state of South Africa.


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