Minnesota, Voting Rights and the Civil War

Teaching with Curated Collections

Minnesota, Voting Rights and the Civil War

Bill Green discusses one of the most tempestuous eras in Minnesota history, when battles over freedom, race and the vote raged through the state, echoing the national fight that would lead to the U.S. Civil War.

As Minnesota pushed toward statehood in the late 1850s, the national debate about slavery, free soil and the rights of free blacks spilled over into Minnesota Territory. With statehood at stake, Democrats and Republicans waged a vicious philosophical battle over who would have the right to vote, who would be truly free, in Minnesota.

Dr. Bill Green is Associate Professor of History and Sabo Senior Fellow at Augsburg College. A noted expert on the history of race and the law, he is the author of "A Peculiar Imbalance: The Fall and Rise of Racial Equality in Early Minnesota."  

(Running time 1:03:50)