Professor Tracy McKenzie

A House Divided Against Itself ~ The Civil War as the Crucible of American Values ~ History Lecture Series 2004 (5-Tape Set)


University of Washington History Series

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Recorded January and February, 2004 ~

War especially civil war is the most demanding trial a society can endure, and every society faces war in a manner that vividly reflects its cultural values. In this series, history professor Tracy McKenzie, approaches the American Civil War in much the same way as the men and women who experienced it one year at a time. Integrating political, social and military history, McKenzie approaches the war as a window into the values of common Americans, revealing who we were as a people in the 1860s. He examines what Americans thought about state rights, the Union, racial equality, civil liberties, and for what values the soldiers in blue and gray risked their lives. Join us for the Winter History Lecture series as Professor McKenzie examines these topics.

Audio Tape #1 ~ A House Dividing: Professor Tracy McKenzie?s first lecture focuses on the role of slavery in the political crisis that culminated in secession. We explore the range of constitutional and moral commitments that shaped the Northern and Southern positions by the presidential election of 1860 ~

Audio Tape #2 ~ Amateurs Go to War: Professor McKenzie discusses the sectional and national values revealed in each region?s response to the secession crisis, examining the way in which each region mobilized for war as a window into cultural values, focusing especially on expressed values of enlisted men, both in the North and South ~

Audio Tape #3 ~ The War Transforming: During this lecture, Professor McKenzie addresses the seminal question, How did a war for a union only become a war for union and freedom?, stressing in particular the role and motivation of President Abraham Lincoln in redefining Northern war aims ~

Audio Tape #4 ~ The Dark Side of the War: In this lecture, we take a look at the suffering of civilians, the hardening of attitudes among enlisted men, the rise of an anti-war movement both in the North and South, and restrictions on civil liberties ~

Audio Tape #5 ~ War Concluding: Outcome and Meaning: This final lecture integrates an overview of the war?s concluding year with a discussion of the conflict?s larger meanings and the range of ways in which the war has been remembered by subsequent generations of Americans ~