Saturday, April 19, 2008

Check! 1826 – 1877


I finished reading The Sections and the Civil War by Clarence B. Carson the day before yesterday. History is a complicated but fascinating subject. It is made of a long chain of interconnected decisions and events.

Have you ever wondered, “How did our nation get to be in the mess it’s in? Look to history. The answer might be an event that took place hundreds of years ago; it could be the speech given yesterday. Everything – both the good and the bad – has an impact on what we are as a nation today.

The years 1826 – 1877 were volatile years, and few eras have generated as much debate. Carson has provided a helpful guide through this troubling time in his 3rd volume of A Basic History of the United States.

Part of my assignment involved writing questions about the content of the book to assist my memory and prompt careful consideration as I read. A few of my questions included:

1. What did George Washington hope for the differing regions of the United States?

2. What view did the Jeffersonians hold about government projects?

3. What was the nullification controversy?

4. How did Americans view government support in the early 1800's, and how did they provide for the poor, orphaned, and disabled?

5. What were the North and South's differing views on state sovereignty, and how did immigration play into this?

6. How did Abraham Lincoln provoke a war while letting the blame fall to the South?

7. In what ways were the Confederate States superior to the North, and what were its faults?

8. Why was the North victorious despite larger casualty numbers?

9. Explain the shift to "Total War." Who engaged in this kind of warfare, and what was its goal?

10. While no provisions were provided within the Constitution for secession, nothing within the Constitution prohibited it. What act of retaliation did the North engage in that was unconstitutional and – when the issue was raised – rejected by the Constitutional Convention ?

11. Summarize the causes and effects of Reconstruction.

So, that is what I have been thinking about. If you want to know the answers to any of the above questions, read Clarence B. Carson's A Basic History of the United States: Volume 3. It is a fascinating study.

2 comments:

Maria Pauline said...

I too have been discovering and enjoying my study of U.S. History, especially the long term effects of decisions and events. The Great Depression alone is fascinating...

Elizabeth Ellen Moore said...

Yes, history is enjoyable -- even while I moan about the bad things that happened. I am coming closer to the Depression in my own study, although America has all the appearance of prospering in my study at the moment. That era is so fascinating!