Gone to Texas

November 13, 2003

No, not me. The class is going to Texas today.

As part of the revision of this year's syllabus I changed many of the lecture titles to something a little catchier. This will be my discussion of why John Tyler caused the American Civil War.

Well, he did have help. I am going to remind the students of the concepts of contingency, path dependency, change over time, and agency that I mentioned briefly at the start of class, have used since then, and will be using a lot as we discuss the sectional crisis.

I worry that I have too many elections and individuals planned, and that I will bog down in the early 1840s. I guess I will have to be a little sharper and leave out many of the fun details.

I am using Michael Holt's argument about political parties managing sectional tensions, but unlike Holt I am not devoting my lectures to a summary of political history. Instead I am giving a broader picture and then trying to work the political history into the mix. I need to work on conveying information quickly, smoothly, and coherently. Tuesday's material was a little garbled; I could have presented my points in a better order. With luck this will go more coherently, if only because I have taught John Tyler before while Tuesday was the first time I had done a lecture showing how feminism grew out of Great Awakening and enlightenment changes in our understanding of God.

Posted by Red Ted at November 13, 2003 08:38 AM | TrackBack