Document Type

Blog Post

Publication Date


Department 1

Civil War Era Studies


I often struggled to find an answer to the comment often leveled by visitors that, "they were so backward back then," or that, "we know so much more now." Getting across the fact to visitors that much of science, especially the basics of Newtonian physics and electromagnetic, has been understood at their elemental level for generations is sometimes a tough order of business. I found myself at times trying to explain Alessandro Volta's invention of the Voltaic battery in 1800 or the use of the Turtle during the American Revolution. Still, compared to the explosions over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 19th century seems backwards and quaint. Their dreams seem limited in scope. They appear, in short, backwards. [excerpt]


Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public is written by alum and adjunct professor, John Rudy. Each post is his own opinions, musings, discussions, and questions about the Civil War era, public history, historical interpretation, and the future of history. In his own words, it is "a blog talking about how we talk about a war where over 600,000 died, 4 million were freed and a nation forever changed. Meditating on interpretation, both theory and practice, at no charge to you."

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License