• Video
  • October 29, 2019

The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution

Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Eric Foner joins America’s Town Hall for a timely discussion about the history of the battle to inscribe equality into the Constitution. The Declaration of Independence declared the truth of equality to be self-evident, but it took the Civil War and the adoption of three constitutional amendments to establish that ideal as part of our fundamental law.  Foner traces the arc of the Reconstruction amendments from their dramatic pre-Civil War origins to today. Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, moderates.

This program was presented in conjunction with the Center’s exhibit Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality.


Eric Foner is the pr-eminent historian of the Civil War Era. His teaching and scholarship have shaped our understanding of that period. His books have garnered every major award, including the Pulitzer Prize for The Firey Trial, his study of Lincoln and American slavery. The DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University, he writes frequently for The Nation and other major periodicals. His newest book is The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution.


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