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So prophesied Abraham Lincoln, in a speech given on June 16th, 1858-two years before his election to the Presidency would trigger the collapse of national unity. The cause-a fundamental paradox in the country's architectural plan. Built as an experiment in freedom, America remained committed to the institution of slavery, and its foundations were cracking under the strain. THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR creates a vivid portrait of America's greatest internal crisis, from the first antislavery protests to Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Along the way, this series examines the moral, political, and strategic forces that set brother against brother for more than four years.