Chip Taylor Communications

Subject: History

Europe and America in the Modern Age Series

Stanford University Professors James Sheehan and David Kennedy present in-depth lectures on the concept of liberalism as a theoretical framework for examining the interrelationships between the histories of Europe and America. Produced by the Stanford University Channel. Programs available on 20 individual Click for more

10. Lincoln, the Civil War and American Nationalism

10. Lincoln, the Civil War and American Nationalism

During the mid to late 19th century, America experienced what Professor David Kennedy calls its "first genuine revolution." For the first time in its history, America underwent an internal struggle whose purpose was to repudiate and obliterate an existing social order. More specifically, by the middle of the Civil War, it was the North's expressed purpose not only to reunite the Union, but also to end slavery, an institution that had pervaded the very fabric of southern life. In this program Professor Kennedy examines the concept of "nation" in terms of the experience of the United States under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln. He explains how Lincoln proved that a democratic government could garner the political and military power necessary to sustain itself even under crisis circumstances. With the Civil War came a strong centralized government, which was once considered anathema to a fledgling liberal society, but was now viewed as essential to the preservation of a nation founded on egalitarian principles. Kennedy concludes this program by asking whether this clear shift in societal perspective on centralized government is symptomatic of Alexis de Tocqueville's haunting prediction of a democratic society so intent upon achieving equality that it has over-invested in a centralized government and created an authority so powerful that it has obliterated all social distinctions and differentiations in the society. 99/10DE SCA 60 min.
Also See: Abraham Lincoln: His Life and His Legacy; Robert E. Lee - Beyond the Battles; Ely Parker (Seneca): Warrior in Two Worlds; Shelby Foote: The Man and the Civil War; The Forgotten Civil War

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