At its core, Civil Discourse offers fresh and thought-provoking content via our blog, which delves into one of the richest and most significant eras in American history: the 19th-century.
Examining the era via a range of perspectives and lenses (political, cultural, social, gender, and military, among others), Civil Discourse invites you to read our thoughts and share your own.
While we at Civil Discourse strive to present a wide variety of topics and viewpoints, our content is ultimately a product of our own experiences. Learn more about Civil Discourse by checking out our mission statement and authors' bios.
Featured Blog Post
We periodically highlight content that has us thinking, arguing, reflecting, and learning.
Recently, Becca Capobianco explored the intertwining legacies of the American Revolution, the Civil War, and African-Americans at Yorktown.
For most people the Gettysburg Address is something they had to memorize in school or a vaguely understood document from the Civil War. For me, the Gettysburg Address represents inspiration for my future as a historian.
Dudley’s father, Thomas Worth Olcott, made his contributions on the homefront, in ways that are perhaps less recognizable, but hardly less important, than soldiers.
Surrounded by the capitol city that has grown up around it, Ten Broeck Mansion was built in 1797-8 outside Albany, NY and remained a private home until it was presented to the Albany County Historical Association in 1948. Although its early history remains a strong focus—to this day it retains the name of its builder and first owner, General Abraham Ten Broeck—the mansion witnessed another upheaval of American History, the Civil War. At the time, the family of Thomas Worth Olcott owned and resided in the house. He and his son, Dudley, both offered their service to the cause of the United States, although in entirely different ways.
Sure enough, I managed to find some Civil War history in my backyard; and I’m sure there is more here if I just keep looking. So, the next time you see something interesting make sure you take a look, you never know what you will find.
Yet with their retreat, and the subsequent Union occupation of Yorktown for the rest of the war, the success of this siege had far more deep implications for the legacies of Yorktown and the Revolution.
Even if you do not work for a big museum, there are opportunities to put together exhibits at colleges, libraries, local sites, or special events. These steps will vary depending of your specific exhibit, but hopefully this framework will help inspire more creative exhibits!
Several sessions at this year’s meeting of the American Historical Association focused on the job market, and how to successfully land your first job in academia. Here are tips from historians on how to nail your interview and transition to your first job.
On first glace, Micki McElya’s The Politics of Mourning: Death and Honor in Arlington National Cemetery appears to be a history of the creation and development of the United States’ most famous national cemetery. Very quickly, however, the reader realizes that this book is a much deeper analysis of how Arlington National Cemetery grew from a family home and plantation to the country’s most sacred burial grounds, one that considers race, gender, memory, and politics. As a result, this work illuminates not only the history of the National Cemetery, but the society in which it developed.
Earlier this month, Civil Discourse quietly passed a milestone...our blog turned two! The new year and our blogging venture's anniversary offer an opportunity to look back at what we've accomplished in 2016 and what lays ahead in 2017.
The perception about the United States in the period before the Civil War is that the North was “free” and the South was “slave.” Now, in some senses this division is accurate; certainly the two regions would end up going to war against each other for issues very related to this debate over slavery. However, the demise of slavery in the North was far more complicated that usually presented. It is certainly not the oversimplified story of slavery ending in the North after the Revolution, leading to a “free” region, as we sometimes see presented in classrooms.