AMERICA IN THE 1960'S
Bob Dylan once remarked, "There has been nothing new since the 1960s. We have been eating leftovers ever since." With that quote in mind, we will embark on an in-depth study of what lead up to one of the most consequential decades of the twentieth century. By the end of the semester, I hope that you will realize that, in many ways, we are still in the sixties.
Sectionalism, Civil War and Reconstruction
Why spend a semester studying the era of the Civil War? What possible relevance could it have for us today? Perhaps the best answer to that question comes from noted Civil War historian Shelby Foote who wrote:
Any understanding of this nation has to be based, and I mean really based, on an understanding of the Civil War. I believe that firmly. It defined us . . . And it is very necessary if you are going to understand the American character . . . to learn about this enormous catastrophe of the nineteenth century. It was the crossroads of our being . . .
With that quote in mind, we will begin our study of the era with an in-depth look at slavery. From there we will follow the political and social progression toward war; examine the war itself from military, economic, diplomatic standpoints; and reunite the nation closing our semester at the turn of the century.