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1861: "The Cause"

Beginning with a searing indictment of slavery, this first episode dramatically evokes the causes of the war, from the Cotton Kingdom of the South to the northern abolitionists who opposed it. Here are the burning questions of Union and states' rights, John Brown at Harpers Ferry, the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, the firing on Fort Sumter, and the jubilant rush to arms on both sides.
Season 1 Episode 1 Length 1:40:58 Premiere: 9/7/15

Brought to you by:

Production made possible by grants from General Motors Corporation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation

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Program Details

The Civil War

About The Civil War

Between 1861 and 1865, Americans made war on each other and killed each other in great numbers if only to become the kind of country that could no longer conceive of how that was possible. What began as a bitter dispute over Union and States' Rights, ended as a struggle over the meaning of freedom in America.


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Season 1 Episodes

1865: "War Is All Hell"/"The Better Angels of Our Nature"

S1 E5 Length 2:14:38 Premiere Date 9/11/15

1864: "Valley of the Shadow of Death"/"Most Hallowed Ground"

S1 E4 Length 2:18:35 Premiere Date 9/10/15

1863: "Simply Murder"/"The Universe of Battle"

S1 E3 Length 2:34:49 Premiere Date 9/9/15

1862: "A Very Bloody Affair"/"Forever Free"

S1 E2 Length 2:21:25 Premiere Date 9/8/15

1861: "The Cause"

S1 E1 Length 1:40:58 Premiere Date 9/7/15


Clip Length 08:21 Premiere Date 4/3/11

The Cause

Clip Length 03:35 Premiere Date 4/3/11

Ken Burns Interview | The Civil War

Preview Length 02:50 Premiere Date 4/3/11

Fort Sumter

Clip Length 02:35 Premiere Date 4/3/11

Was it Not Real?

Clip Length 05:09 Premiere Date 4/3/11

1938 Newsreel

Clip Length 03:09 Premiere Date 4/3/11

The Gettysburg Address

Clip Length 05:50 Premiere Date 4/3/11

All Night Forever

Clip Length 04:30 Premiere Date 4/3/11

Ken Burns Interview | Shelby Foote

Preview Length 03:36 Premiere Date 4/3/11

Ken Burns Interview | Music

Preview Length 02:26 Premiere Date 4/3/11

Honorable Manhood

Clip Length 03:25 Premiere Date 9/6/15

Q & A: Civil War Interest

Preview Premiere Date 9/6/15

A House Divided

Clip Length 03:16 Premiere Date 9/6/15


Making The Civil War: 25 Years Later

Length 28:19 Premiere Date 10/23/17

Restoring The Civil War

Length 13:57 Premiere Date 9/7/15

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