Try to imagine what our country might have looked like if the Civil War could have been avoided. Suppose it had turned out differently, perhaps an armistice instead of a decisive victory. In his talk, Steven Hahn addresses the significance of the Civil War by talking about what might have been in order to discuss why the Civil War mattered. Steven Hahn speaks to the power of slaveholding interests on the eve of the war and just how unlikely it was for the war to end with an unconditional victory of the Union. He will also speak to the various alternatives to the slave emancipation that took place.
Steven Hahn received his Ph.D. from Yale University and is a specialist on history of nineteenth-century America, African-American history, the history of the American South, and the international history of slavery and emancipation. He is the author of The Roots of Southern Populism: Yeoman Farmers and the Transformation of the Georgia Upcountry, 1850-1890 (Oxford University Press, 1983), which received both the Allan Nevins Prize of the Society of American Historians and the Frederick Jackson Turner Award of the Organization of American Historians, as well as of articles that have appeared in Past and Present, the American Historical Review, and the Journal of Southern History.
In 2004, Hahn’s book, A Nation Under our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration (Harvard University Press), received the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Bancroft Prize in American History, and the Merle Curti Prize in Social History of the Organization of American Historians. In 2007, he delivered the Nathan I. Huggins Lectures at Harvard University which were subsequently published as The Political Worlds of Slavery and Freedom (Harvard University Press, 2009). Hahn has been on the faculties of the University of Delaware, the University of California, San Diego, and Northwestern University before coming to Penn. He has been appointed the Lawrence Stone Visiting Professor at Princeton University and the Pitt Professor at Cambridge University and is an elected Fellow of the Society of American Historians. Program sponsored by Ellen and Tom Mann
Hahn has been actively involved with projects that promote the teaching of history in the public schools and that make humanities education available to diverse members of the community.