1862: Transforming the Union



2:30 pm- 4:00 pm


6/2, 6/9, 6/16, 6/23, 6/30, 7/7

Six Sessions

This course will be offered online via the free, easy-to-use Zoom program.

Courses on US history often focus on the losses of the Union Army in 1862.  But 1862 was also a busy year for Congress.  With Southern legislators absent, Congress passed transformative legislation.  This class will consider six major policy initiatives – the Emancipation Proclamation, the Homestead Act, the Land Grant University Act, and the establishment of the Department of Agriculture, the creation of a national paper currency, and the development of the Transcontinental Railroad.  The class will examine why these initiatives had been opposed by Southern states, how they transformed the US, and their continuing importance to the present.

Recommended reading: Congress at War by Fergus M. Bordewich, Penguin, 2020

    Katherine Kidd earned her Ph.D. in international relations at the University of Pennsylvania. She directed the programs in international studies at Sacred Heart and Fairfield Universities. While living and working in Washington, DC, she rekindled her interest in American history building on her undergraduate degree in history. She is chair of OLLI's University Day committee and has taught a variety of classes for OLLI.

    Presentation from Class 1, 6/2/20: 1862 Class One.pptx

    Presentation from Class 2, 6/9/20: 1862 Class Two - Legal Tender.pptx

    Presentation from Class 3, 6/15/20: 1862 Class Three - Railroads.pptx

    Presentation from Class 4, 6/22/20: 1862 Class Four - Homesteading.pptx

    Presentation from Class 5, 6/29/20: 1862 Class five - Land Grant Colleges.pptx

    Presentation from Class 6, 7/7/20: 1862 Class Six.pptx

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    OLLI: the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College
    Partners in education with Williams College, Bard College at Simon's Rock and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

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