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Full-Text Articles in History

Rewriting History: A Study Of How The History Of The Civil War Has Changed In Textbooks From 1876 To 2014, Skyler A. Campbell May 2018

Rewriting History: A Study Of How The History Of The Civil War Has Changed In Textbooks From 1876 To 2014, Skyler A. Campbell

The Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era

History textbooks provide an interesting perspective into the views and attitudes of their respective time period. The way textbooks portray certain events and groups of people has a profound impact on the way children learn to view those groups and events. That impact then has the potential to trickle down to future generations, fabricating a historical narrative that sometimes avoids telling the whole truth, or uses selective wording to sway opinions on certain topics. This paper analyzes the changes seen in how the Civil War is written about in twelve textbooks dated from 1876 to 2014. Notable topics of discussion ...


Condemning Colonization: Abraham Lincoln’S Rejected Proposal For A Central American Colony, Matthew Harris May 2018

Condemning Colonization: Abraham Lincoln’S Rejected Proposal For A Central American Colony, Matthew Harris

The Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era

This article focuses on a proposal by Abraham Lincoln to settle freed African Americans in Central American countries. The backlash from several countries reveals that other countries besides the warring United States were also struggling with reconciling racial issues. This also reveals how interwoven racial issues were with political crises during the Civil War because it not only effected domestic policies but also international relations.


Between The World And Them, Jeffrey L. Lauck May 2018

Between The World And Them, Jeffrey L. Lauck

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

The first time I learned the story of the Bryan family and their Gettysburg farm was when I read Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me. For Coates, there was something poetic about the fact that the climax of the Civil War’s bloodiest and most well-known battle—a moment forever enshrined in Confederate memory thanks to the likes of William Faulknerand Ted Turner—occurred on land owned by a free black man and his family. Pickett’s Charge—the greatest symbol of Confederate martial honor in the Civil War canon—had been repulsed on property that represented so ...


Raising Questions: Gettysburg Rising’S Confederate Flag Forum, Olivia Ortman Mar 2018

Raising Questions: Gettysburg Rising’S Confederate Flag Forum, Olivia Ortman

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

On March 3, Gettysburg Rising–a group that encourages civic engagement by sharing information–hosted a forum on the Confederate flag. It drew a modest, yet eager crowd. The goal of the event was to create an opportunity for people to come together and share their thoughts and feelings about the flag. After Professor David Hadley delivered a brief history of the flag, the attendees took the mic. [excerpt]


The Long Legacy Of White Citizen Police: A Recap Of The 12th Annual Gondwe Lecture, Jeffrey L. Lauck Mar 2018

The Long Legacy Of White Citizen Police: A Recap Of The 12th Annual Gondwe Lecture, Jeffrey L. Lauck

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

Last week, the Gettysburg College Africana Studies and Economics Departments sponsored the 12th annual Derrick K. Gondwe Memorial Lectureon Social and Economic Justice. This year’s lecture featured Dr. Edward E. Baptist, a Durham, North Carolina native currently teaching in the History Department at Cornell University. His lecture, “White Predators: Hunting African Americans For Profit, From the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act to Lee’s 1863 Invasion of Pennsylvania,” painted the picture of a centuries-long instinct among white Americans to police black Americans. [excerpt]


Spreading The Flames: The United States, Cuba, And The Fear Of Africanization, Savannah A. Labbe Feb 2018

Spreading The Flames: The United States, Cuba, And The Fear Of Africanization, Savannah A. Labbe

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

In the years leading up to the Civil War, the fight over slavery played out in many different arenas, notably in Kansas and Nebraska. While Bleeding Kansas was arguably the most well-known and violent clash over slavery before the Civil War, there were others as well. One flash point over the question of slavery resulted from political unrest in Cuba. In the 1850s, Spain owned Cuba, an economically prosperous island with an economy based on African slave labor. However, Spain was under pressure from Great Britain to end slavery in Cuba, and because Spain was in enormous debt and was ...


Gettysburg College Journal Of The Civil War Era 2018 Jan 2018

Gettysburg College Journal Of The Civil War Era 2018

The Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era

No abstract provided.


Robert E. Lee And Slavery, Allen C. Guelzo Dec 2017

Robert E. Lee And Slavery, Allen C. Guelzo

Civil War Era Studies Faculty Publications

Robert E. Lee was the most successful Confederate military leader during the American Civil War (1861–1865). This also made him, by virtue of the Confederacy's defense of chattel slavery, the most successful defender of the enslavement of African Americans. Yet his own personal record on both slavery and race is mottled with contradictions and ambivalence, all which were in plain view during his long career. Born into two of Virginia's most prominent families, Lee spent his early years surrounded by enslaved African Americans, although that changed once he joined the Army. His wife, Mary Randolph Custis Lee ...


Reconciling With The Past: Ana Lucia Araujo’S Lecture On Coming To Terms With The Past When Monuments Are Taken Down, Daniel Wright Nov 2017

Reconciling With The Past: Ana Lucia Araujo’S Lecture On Coming To Terms With The Past When Monuments Are Taken Down, Daniel Wright

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

On Thursday, November 2nd, Howard University History Professor Ana Lucia Araujo visited Gettysburg College to give a lecture titled “Slavery, Memory, and Reparations: Coming to Terms with the Past When Monuments Are Taken Down.” The historian, author, and professor talked about the history of slavery as well as the concepts of memory and reparations. One form of reparations discussed recently has been the removal of Confederate monuments in the United States, which has been heavily debated for years. [excerpt]


Revisiting Fredericksburg: Using Provocation To Explore New Questions, Jonathan Tracey Aug 2017

Revisiting Fredericksburg: Using Provocation To Explore New Questions, Jonathan Tracey

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

To Freeman Tilden, provocation was an essential ingredient to effective interpretation, and I tend to agree with that idea. Both my walking tour at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center and the interpretive exhibits at Chatham Manor utilize provocation in different forms, with different challenges and opportunities. Overall, the atmosphere of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park is one that supports and encourages provocative thinking by visitors.


Monuments Ought To Be Considered Case By Case, Michael J. Birkner Aug 2017

Monuments Ought To Be Considered Case By Case, Michael J. Birkner

History Faculty Publications

In a press conference last week President Donald Trump made this contribution to the escalating debate about monuments and memorials to American heroes who, by today’s reckoning, failed a moral test.

The statue debate is inherently emotional and when it comes to keeping certain statues up or pulling them down, it riles people up —including Donald Trump. However, it is important to separate President Trump’s intemperate and often factually inaccurate remarks at Tuesday’s press conference from the statue controversy as it is currently playing out. (excerpt)


Should We Banish Robert E. Lee & His Confederate Friends? Let's Talk., Allen C. Guelzo Aug 2017

Should We Banish Robert E. Lee & His Confederate Friends? Let's Talk., Allen C. Guelzo

Civil War Era Studies Faculty Publications

After 152 years, Robert E. Lee is back in the headlines. But not in any way he could have imagined.

The “Unite the Right” forces descended on Charlottesville, Va., to protest calls for the removal of an equestrian statue of Lee that has been sitting in a city park since 1924. The larger question, however, was about whether the famous Confederate general was also a symbol of white supremacy.

The same issues were in play in May when a statue of Lee was removed from Lee Circle in New Orleans. There are also more than two dozen streets and schools ...


What If The South Had Won The Civil War? 4 Sci-Fi Scenarios For Hbo's 'Confederate', Allen C. Guelzo Jul 2017

What If The South Had Won The Civil War? 4 Sci-Fi Scenarios For Hbo's 'Confederate', Allen C. Guelzo

Civil War Era Studies Faculty Publications

“What if” has always been the favorite game of Civil War historians. Now, thanks to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss — the team that created HBO’s insanely popular Game of Thrones — it looks as though we’ll get a chance to see that “what if” on screen. Their new project, Confederate, proposes an alternate America in which the secession of the Southern Confederacy in 1861 actually succeeds. It is a place where slavery is legal and pervasive, and where a new civil war is brewing between the divided sections. (excerpt)


Defending Reconstruction, Allen C. Guelzo May 2017

Defending Reconstruction, Allen C. Guelzo

Civil War Era Studies Faculty Publications

There are no Reconstruction re-enactors. And who would want to be? Reconstruction is the disappointing epilogue to the American Civil War, a sort of Grimm fairy tale stepchild of the war and the ugly duckling of American history. Even Abraham Lincoln was uneasy at using the word “reconstruction”—he qualified it with add-ons like “what is called reconstruction” or “a plan of reconstruction (as the phrase goes)”—and preferred to speak of the “re-inauguration of the national authority” or the need to “re-inaugurate loyal state governments.” Unlike the drama of the war years, Reconstruction has no official starting or ending ...


Appomattox: 152 Years Later, Jonathan Tracey Apr 2017

Appomattox: 152 Years Later, Jonathan Tracey

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

Just over a week ago was the 152nd anniversary of General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House. Although that number may not be as big a deal as the 150th anniversary a few years ago, there was something else special about this year. For only the seventh time since 1865, April 9th fell on Palm Sunday, just as it did on the day that Grant and Lee met in the McLean House. Not only was I lucky enough to attend this commemoration, but I was able to revisit the job I held over the summer by volunteering that weekend ...


The Corwin Amendment: The Last Last-Minute Attempt To Save The Union, Hannah M. Christensen Apr 2017

The Corwin Amendment: The Last Last-Minute Attempt To Save The Union, Hannah M. Christensen

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

At around 5:20AM on March 4, 1861—Inauguration Day—the Senate voted 24-12 to pass a proposed amendment to the Constitution that would permanently preserve slavery in the states where it currently existed. If successfully ratified, it would become the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution—and hopefully avert the secession crisis and the impending Civil War. However, only six states had ratified the amendment by early 1862, and the amendment died soon after. The last attempt to stop the Civil War, an attempt which had been in the works since shortly after the presidential election, had failed.


Finding Meaning In The Flag: Ex-Slaves And Newsies, Olivia Ortman Apr 2017

Finding Meaning In The Flag: Ex-Slaves And Newsies, Olivia Ortman

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

Thus far we’ve talked about predominately white Union and Confederate views of the Confederate flag, so for my last piece on perspectives during the war I want to talk about the views of African Americans. For African Americans, especially, the Civil War was tightly intertwined with the matter of slavery. They realized that the outcome of the war would be instrumental in determining the fate of slavery as an institution and believed that a Confederate victory would be detrimental to the prospects of their freedom. If Southerners had their way, slavery would likely never die.


Commentary: Challenging Three Electoral College Indictments, Allen C. Guelzo, James H. Hulme Jan 2017

Commentary: Challenging Three Electoral College Indictments, Allen C. Guelzo, James H. Hulme

Civil War Era Studies Faculty Publications

On the day the Electoral College met and elected Donald J. Trump the 45th president of the United States, the New York Times editorial board published a scathing attack on the Electoral College as an "antiquated mechanism" which "overwhelming majorities" of Americans would prefer to eliminate in favor of a direct national popular vote. [excerpt]


Gettysburg College Journal Of The Civil War Era 2017 Jan 2017

Gettysburg College Journal Of The Civil War Era 2017

The Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era

No abstract provided.


An Anomalous Case Of Southern Sympathy: New Jersey's Civil War Stance, Emily A. Hawk Jan 2017

An Anomalous Case Of Southern Sympathy: New Jersey's Civil War Stance, Emily A. Hawk

The Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era

A popular narrative of the Civil War assumes that all Northern states stood united behind President Abraham Lincoln in their loyalty to the Union. However, the case of New Jersey suggests that this narrative of devotion is simply a myth. The agrarian economy of New Jersey kept the state firmly opposed to universal emancipation, and New Jersey behaved more like a border state than its geographic neighbors of Pennsylvania and New York. By examining New Jersey's response to the release of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Election of 1864, the myth of Northern unity is broken by understanding persistent ...


The Unknown Legacy Of The 13th Amendment, Danielle E. Jones Dec 2016

The Unknown Legacy Of The 13th Amendment, Danielle E. Jones

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

On January 31, 1865, Congress passed the 13th Amendment, declaring slavery illegal in the United States. Or so it seemed. The second line of the Amendment, and the most oft unknown, states that slavery can still be used as a form of punishment for crimes, and this practice became widely used as a part of southern backlash to Reconstruction Era policies. After the end of the Civil War, many southern states struggled with rebuilding their infrastructures and government systems. In order to avoid falling into more debt, many of these states turned towards the convict lease system, which claimed that ...


A Tale Of Two Universities: Harvard And Georgetown Accept Their Ties To Slavery, Alexandria J. Andrioli Oct 2016

A Tale Of Two Universities: Harvard And Georgetown Accept Their Ties To Slavery, Alexandria J. Andrioli

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

The Washington Ideas Forum, a Washington D.C. hot-ticket event, reconvened for its eighth year on September 28th and 29th, 2016. Leaders in politics, policy, race and justice, education, science and technology, and even food met to share ideas and have meaningful conversations at the event hosted by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute. From Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Secretary of State John Kerry to author Chimamanda Adichie and chef and founder of Momofuku, David Chang, the best and the brightest were all in attendance.

[excerpt]


An End To Slavery In The Confederacy: One Of The Civil War's Greatest "What-Ifs", Jeffrey L. Lauck Sep 2016

An End To Slavery In The Confederacy: One Of The Civil War's Greatest "What-Ifs", Jeffrey L. Lauck

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

A few weeks ago one of our readers posted a comment on one of our blog posts asking for a “best guess” as to when slavery would have ended in the South had the Confederacy been successful in winning its independence. There is, of course, no easy answer to this question, as counter-factual history is just that: not factual. However, the question is an important one that deserves attention and at the very least can be used to explore some ways in which slavery can be contextualized in the Civil War era.

[excerpt]


Commentary: 14th Amendment Laid Foundation Of Civil Liberties, Allen C. Guelzo May 2016

Commentary: 14th Amendment Laid Foundation Of Civil Liberties, Allen C. Guelzo

Civil War Era Studies Faculty Publications

They had just glued the world back together, and within a year it was threatening to come apart again.

That might sound like a description of the Arab Spring, or even the fall of the Soviet Union. In fact, it's what happened 150 years ago in the United States. [excerpt]


Harriet Takes The $20: Black Bodies, Historical Precedence, And Political Implications, Megan E. Mcnish Apr 2016

Harriet Takes The $20: Black Bodies, Historical Precedence, And Political Implications, Megan E. Mcnish

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

If you have been watching the news at all lately, you’ve probably seen that Harriet Tubman will be placed on the front of the $20 bill, while former President Andrew Jackson will be moved to the back of the bill. Immediately there emerged an outpouring of support for the proposition. However, in the week that has followed, others have questioned the meaning that will arise out of an African American woman and former slave being placed on American currency. Some have argued that it is not a fitting legacy for a woman who fought against oppression and the system ...


“A National Sin”: Samuel Simon Schmucker, Founder Of Gettysburg College, On The Peculiar Institution, Meg A. Sutter Apr 2016

“A National Sin”: Samuel Simon Schmucker, Founder Of Gettysburg College, On The Peculiar Institution, Meg A. Sutter

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

Many music and art students at Gettysburg College would recognize the name Schmucker as their building, or affectionately their ‘home,’ on campus. Alumni might even remember Schmucker Hall as their library. However, if asked who founded Gettysburg College, most students and alumni would probably not know his name. Fortunately, our campus is celebrating Founders Day this week to remember those, including our founder Samuel Simon Schmucker, who helped make our college #Gettysburgreat. [excerpt]


Great Emancipator Was Radical Of His Day: Lincoln Opposed Economic Injustice, Allen C. Guelzo Feb 2016

Great Emancipator Was Radical Of His Day: Lincoln Opposed Economic Injustice, Allen C. Guelzo

Civil War Era Studies Faculty Publications

“If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong,” Abraham Lincoln said in 1864. “I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel.”

Yet there has always been doubt about just how great an emancipator he really was. Why did he wait for two years into his presidency to issue his Emancipation Proclamation? And why didn’t that Proclamation free all the 3.9 million African-Americans then held in bondage? [excerpt]


Gettysburg College Journal Of The Civil War Era 2016 Jan 2016

Gettysburg College Journal Of The Civil War Era 2016

The Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era

No abstract provided.


"For Safety And For Liberty," The Devan Family Of Gettysburg, Andrew I. Dalton Jan 2016

"For Safety And For Liberty," The Devan Family Of Gettysburg, Andrew I. Dalton

The Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era

This article explores Gettysburg’s 19th century black history through the exciting experiences of the Devan family. Originally from Frederick County, Maryland, they came to Gettysburg as free people of color. In town, one member of the family was suspected of assisting slave catchers by handing over escaped slaves for a profit. Four members of the family served during the Civil War in the United States Colored Troops, three of whom died in the service. This complex story proves the fact that black history is extremely complex and should not be painted by historians with a single brush stroke.


“The Colored Soldiers”—The Poem You Never Knew Existed, Matthew D. Laroche Oct 2015

“The Colored Soldiers”—The Poem You Never Knew Existed, Matthew D. Laroche

The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History

I’m a poetry guy. When I expect to have some free time, I tend to carry a small book of poems somewhere on my person. I also have eclectic tastes, so the subject and the substance of my little pocket anthologies changes. This summer, while at home from Gettysburg National Military Park, I pulled a book off the shelf—War Poems, from the Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets series. I found plenty of what you might expect to find in such a book—Lord Tennyson, Wilfred Owen, Randall Jarrell. The subjects were classic—the “wild charge” of the Light ...