Urbana University will host “The Longest Constitution Day: How Antietam Changed the Face of the Civil War, The Constitution and the American People Forever” as part of the university’s annual Constitution Day lecture series. This year’s lecture, presented by UU Assistant Professor Ryan Enlow, will be held in the Cutler Wing of the Swedenborg Library, 579 College Way, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21. The public is invited.
Enlow will discuss the Sept. 17, 1862, Battle of Antietam and the role it played as both the symbolic and literal turning point of the Civil War. Discussion will center less on the battle and more on the radical and swift political change it caused.
Enlow will examine the victory in the context of being the turning point that Lincoln needed to add political legitimacy to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, turning the nation from one that tolerated slavery as a property right to, as Lincoln put it, “a new birth of freedom.”
Enlow has nearly two decades of teaching experience spanning aspects of political science ranging from U.S. Constitutional Law to Middle East policy. Since joining Urbana’s faculty in 2008, he has lectured annually on Constitution Day.