Tag: Civil War

the-age-of-drugs

Civil War Veterans and Opiate Addiction in the Gilded Age

In November 2015, two Princeton economists, Dr. Angus Deaton and Dr. Anne Case, published a startling report, which indicated that the mortality rates of poorly educated middle-aged white Americans had skyrocketed. These mortality rates, Deaton and Case argued, were not being driven by the usual suspects of diabetes or heart ...
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Out of the Shadows Redux: A Graduate Student’s Thoughts at the SHA

Since the firing on Fort Sumter, the Civil War has been the watershed moment of American history. If historians are responsible for explaining the evolution of contemporary American culture, we recognize that at least part of its origin was forged during the war. We repeatedly flock to the same four ...
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Tad Brown, Earl Hess, and Dan Sutherland at the awards dinner, courtesy of the Society of Civil War Historians.

Earl J. Hess Accepts Tom Watson Brown Book Award

The Society of Civil War Historians Banquet is an anticipated event on the program of the Southern Historical Association’s Annual Meeting. It is an opportunity for Civil War historians to gather together for conversation over dinner and drinks and hear about a new book that has garnered much attention in ...
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caires1

The Bubble: Greenbacks, Corruption, and the Politics of Looking Backwards

Throughout this long presidential campaign season, the specter of the Great Recession is well and alive. Over seven years since the end of the recession, many American workers are dealing with painfully slow wage growth and lingering anger and anxiety about the economy. Reacting to these concerns, the candidates offer ...
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sacco1

A Conflicted Message: Christian Theology and Political Action During the Civil War Era

When citizens of a democratic society participate in electoral politics, they are often forced to determine the extent to which they are willing to compromise on their beliefs when voting. Voters sometimes find ideal candidates who share most if not all of their views, but oftentimes the best candidate in ...
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“Grand, national, democratic banner. Press onward,” 1848. A campaign banner for Democratic presidential candidate Lewis Cass and William O. Butler, produced by Nathaniel Currier, 1848. People often displayed these banners at home. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Of Presidential Campaigns and Partisan Press: Journalism in the Elections of 1848 and 2016

In this presidential election year, some political observers have lamented the disappearance of a non-partisan press. Today, Republicans watch Fox News and read the Wall Street Journal; Democrats prefer MSNBC and the New York Times. The Internet has further fragmented journalism, putting the mass in mass media. For the Republican ...
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Democratic political cartoon showing “fanatics” making demands of a compliant John C. Frémont, the 1856 Republican presidential candidate. Source: “The Great Republican Reform Party, Calling on Their Candidate” (New York, NY: [Nathaniel Currier], [1856]), Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Interracial Sex and American Conservatism, from the Civil War Era to the Age of Trump

Gender and race are center stage in the 2016 election. Hillary Clinton, for instance, hopes to derail Donald Trump's recent pivot to the center and his courting of African Americans by linking him to the white nationalist “alt-right” movement. The current election has thereby brought national attention to the Internet’s ...
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Fraud, Violence, and ‘Rigged’ Elections: A Warning from Bleeding Kansas

Fraud, Violence, and ‘Rigged’ Elections: A Warning from Bleeding Kansas

Democracy is fragile. One whiff of dishonesty, real or imagined, can undermine our dedication to democratic procedures. Even the wildest accusations about an opponent’s unethical or illegal behavior can help us justify rewriting the rules, or ignoring them altogether, in the name of victory. Allegations of electoral trickery are not ...
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Key1

Paradise Lost: Florida’s Egmont Key during the Civil War

The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area evokes images of sugar sand beaches and crystal-clear Gulf waters. A stone’s throw from St. Petersburg, the Tampa Bay Ferry carts beachgoers two or three times a day between Fort DeSoto County Park and Egmont Key State Park. Egmont Key’s informational brochure boasts that it is ...
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CWP Gates

Camp William Penn and the Fight for Historical Memory

If you were to drive down Cheltenham Avenue north of Philadelphia today between Penrose Avenue and School Lane, you would pass standard urban blocks, nothing extraordinary. A cemetery, gas station, a mixed collection of residences, and a community center. Casual passersby—many residents, even--do not recognize the historical significance of the ...
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tudents sit for a standardized test. (Fabian Pittroff, The Atlantic). Found in: Laura McKenna, “What Happens When Students Boycott a Standardized Test?” The Atlantic, April 9, 2015, accessed July 15, 2016.

A School Divided: The Civil War Era in the Secondary Classroom

This May, roughly 500,000 high school juniors across the nation nervously sat in classrooms and gymnasiums for the Advanced Placement (AP) United States History exam.[1] The number of students enrolled in AP U.S. History courses increases every year, reorienting the US history survey from university campuses into secondary history classrooms.[2] ...
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The Battle of Ft. Pillow, a lithograph from Kurz and Allison. Image from Blackpast.org, accessed July 14, 2016.

Witnessing Racial Violence: Public Awareness and the Battle of Ft. Pillow

In 2014, bystanders’ video evidence of Michael Brown and Eric Garner’s deaths at the hands of police thrust racial bias and police brutality against people of color into the national spotlight. Black Lives Matter subsequently became both a rallying cry and a movement, with followers asserting that the deaths of ...
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Matthew McConaughey stars in The Free State of Jones

Right and Wrong in “The Free State of Jones”: Making Sense of the Civil War Film Tradition

No one quite knows what to make of “The Free State of Jones,” the latest big-budget feature film about the history of the Civil War. Some have praised it as the “final word on racism’s vicious legacy” while others have lambasted it for engaging in “the passive violence of distortion.” ...
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At a meeting of the Union League, Moses (Mahershala Ali) and Newt (Matthew McConaughey) tell the Freedman that all citizens shall have the right to vote.

Aiming for Accuracy: Free State of Jones, Contingency, and the Meaning of Freedom

Early in Free State of Jones a Confederate soldier proclaims he is not fighting for slavery but rather “for honor.” His comrades, including poor Mississippi farmer Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey), needle him. Considering the "Twenty Negro Law,” Conscription Act, and tax-in-kind law, they point out that their blood only helps ...
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Ali1

Muhammad Ali’s Civil War Inheritance: A Historical Note

The death of Muhammad Ali reminded people here in America and across the world of the many ways in which his life had meaning beyond his triumphs in the boxing ring. As numerous people have recalled in recent days, Ali was more than a fierce boxer; he lived a fierce ...
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Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: The Civil War Era

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: The Civil War Era

As scholarship on the Civil War era expands, Hollywood, too, has cast a wider gaze at the conflict and its roots. This year, with movies like “Free State of Jones” and “Birth of a Nation,” filmmakers continue to explore the struggles beyond the battlefield but still central to the war ...
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