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Civil War Politics Addressed at ASU

October 08, 2013

A glimpse into the complex national politics of Civil War America will be offered Wednesday, Oct. 16, during Angelo State University’s Civil War Lecture Series organized by the History Department to commemorate the conflict’s 150th anniversary.  

Three ASU political science faculty will explore “Lincoln, His Party and Civil War Era Politics” during the 7 p.m. Oct. 16 presentation in the C.J. Davidson Center in ASU’s Houston Harte University Center, 1910 Rosemont Drive.  The presenters will be Dr. Tony Bartl, Dr. Matthew Gritter and Dr. Deanna J. Watts, all of ASU’s Department of Political Science and Philosophy.

Bartl will discuss the origins of the Republican Party and Lincoln’s influence in shaping the newly formed GOP.  Watts will examine Lincoln’s presidential party leadership and party-building efforts.  Gritter will explore some unique aspects of the early Republican Party, including the support for internal improvements led by the federal government and the evolution of views regarding slavery.

The program is the second of eight scheduled for the lecture series during the 2013-14 academic year.  All programs are open free to the public.

Dr. Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, coordinator of the lecture series and a Civil War authority on the ASU history faculty, said, “The Civil War broke out as a result of the failure of the political system to contain the divisive debates about the extension of slavery into the western territories.  During the election of 1860, Americans faced a sectional northern party, the Republicans, and a divided national party, the Democrats.  The Democrats ran two candidates almost ensuring that the Republican nominee, Lincoln, would win.  The lecture speakers will discuss some of the key themes and events of the Republican Party as it established and defined itself in a contentious period of American history.”

In addition to the History Department, the Civil War Lecture Series is supported by Fort Concho; Fort Concho Foundation; the Office of the ASU Dean of Arts and Sciences; ASU’s Gender Studies Program; the West Texas Collection; the Porter Henderson Library; Shannon Medical Center; the Texas Historical Commission; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Library of America; and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Other programs and speakers in the series are:

  • Nov. 14:  “Trails of Blood:  Escaping the Confederacy,” 7 p.m., Davidson Center, Dr. Lorien Foote of the Texas A&M History Department. 
  • Jan. 28:  “The Environment of War,” 7 p.m., Davidson Center, Drs. Kenna Archer and Jason Pierce of ASU’s History Department.
  • Feb. 17:  “Memory and Meaning:  Civil War Memorials and Their Artistic Antecedents,” 7 p.m., Davidson Center, Dr. Kimberly Busby of ASU’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts.
  • March 4:  “The Texas Historical Commission’s Sesquicentennial Activities,” 7 p.m., Davidson Center, William McWhorter, program coordinator, Military Sites Program, History Programs Division, Texas Historical Commission.
  • March 27:  “Baseball and the Civil War,” 6 p.m. period baseball game, Fort Concho parade grounds, and 7 p.m. lectures, Fort Concho Stables, Bob Bluthardt, site manager, Fort Concho, and Dr. David Dewar of ASU’s History Department.
  • April 22:  “Medicine and the Civil War,” 7 p.m., Fort Concho Stables, Dr. Robert Hicks, Measey Chair for the History of Medicine and director of the Mutter Museum and Historical Medical Library at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. 
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