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Chapter Week 10

American Studies 2200E Chapter Week 10 : American Studies Week 10 Readings

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Western University
American Studies
American Studies 2200E
Anna Zuschlag

American Studies Week 10 Readings Tony Horwitz, excerpt from Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War - The war started when the state seceded - Pop-cultural background to the Civil War - Americans obsessed with the Civil War - Civil War reenactors - Where 1860’s clothes, speak the language, eat the food Abraham Lincoln, “Gettysburg Address” 1863 - Delivered 4 months after the Union defeated the Confederates at Gettysburg - Reiterates the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence - “Fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that "all men are created equal." - Direct connection to slaves and African-Americans - Proclaimed the Civil War as a struggle for the preservation of the Union - “Testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure” - The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here - The nation, shall have a new birth of freedom - “government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth” - Redefined the Civil War as a struggle for not just the Union, but the principle of human equality Steve Goodson, excerpt from Highbrows, Hillbillies and Hellfire: Public Entertainment in Atlanta, 1880 – 1930 - Evening of December 6, 1915 - Procession of men draped in bedsheets rode down Peachtree Street on horseback, firing rifle salutes into the air - Hoped to publicize their organization and recruit new members and evidently believed that the men waiting to enter the theatre would be likely candidates - The Ku Klux Klan and the Birth of a Nation (D.W. Griffith) - Demonstrated the profound cultural power that motion pictures could exert - Demonstrated deep sympathy for the “southern” point of view and a profound belief in white supremacy - Old soldiers assured that the movie was historically accurate - Most white Atlantans held biased opinions regarding the Civil War and Reconstruction when The Birth of a Nation arrived (The film confirmed and elaborated these feelings) - The Birth of a Nation served as an inspiring confirmation of the superiority of white Americans over black and reinforced the deeply held conviction that only the diligence of white males prevented lustful black men from molesting white women - William J. Simmons revived the long dormant KKK (Atlanta central to the resurrection) David W. Blight, “Quarrel Forgotten or a Revolution Remembered?” - Societies remember and use history as a source of coherence and identity, as a means of contending for powe
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