RECONSTRUCTION & THE LEGACY OF THE CIVIL WAR
Professor Brian Jordan
American Association of University Women, Washington D.C.
Reconstruction is, perhaps, the most little known segment of American history. Even professional historians cannot agree on basic questions about the period: when did Reconstruction end (or did it)? What did Reconstruction need to accomplish, and why did it fail? Is Reconstruction our “unfinished” American revolution, a revolution that went backwards, the era of citizenship, or something else? What are the geographic boundaries of Reconstruction? Was it possible for Americans reeling from a bloody war to achieve both "healing" and "justice"? Together, we will tackle these questions by reading and discussing cutting-edge scholarship in the field. We will examine the struggles for civil rights; violence and terrorism; and the political, cultural, emotional, regional, and gendered histories of Reconstruction.