by Gavriel Rosenfeld
Counterfactuals can be a useful tool for historical thinking when they highlight contingency. But they can be abused because they tap into emotional needs to place blame and fantasies about what might have been.
by Thomas Fleming
Credit: Wiki Commons/HNN staff.The United States of America trembled on the brink of her greatest tragedy -- a civil war that would kill a million young men. Seven Southern states had seceded after Abraham Lincoln was elected president as an anti-slavery Republican, with scarcely a single Southern vote. They had been unmoved by his inaugural address, in which he warned them that he had taken a solemn oath to preserve the Union -- and reminded them of their shared heritage, witnessed by the numberless patriot graves in every state.
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