Michael Vorenberg

Brown University

Michael Vorenberg is an associate professor of history at Brown University. He received his AB, AM, and PhD, all in history, from Harvard University. Vorenberg’s first book, Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment (Cambridge, 2001), deals with the making and meaning of the Thirteenth Amendment. His second book, Reconstructing the People: The Invention of Citizenship During the American Civil War, examines how elite and ordinary members of the Union and the Confederacy during the Civil War translated notions of citizenship into law, policy, and manifest belief. He is currently working on a number of articles as well as a book on the Emancipation Proclamation. Before becoming a professor, Vorenberg was also a secondary school teacher. He has received numerous awards and fellowships for his writing and teaching.

Why did the federal government “reconstruct” the South?
What were the limitations of the Thirteenth Amendment?
Who are you and what do you do?
Was the American Civil War a war over slavery?
What role did black slaves play in the American Civil War?
Why is it important for high school students to learn about Reconstruction?
Why is the civil rights movement sometimes called the “second Reconstruction”?
In what ways was black life under Jim Crow similar to life under slavery?
Why did the federal government eventually abandon Reconstruction?
How did Reconstruction transform black life in the South?
How did whites in the South resist Reconstruction?
What was the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution?
What is the basic principle of American democracy?
Why should high school students learn about the Constitution?
Why has the U.S. Constitution endured for more than 200 years?
What is the role of the Constitutional amendment?
Why did the Constitution have to be amended to abolish slavery?
How did the U.S. Constitution exclude certain groups?
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