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Podcast Episode 10

Leadership and the Humanities Podcast
Episode 10: The Civil War

If we think back to 1776 and the conflict between the delegates from the north versus the delegates from the south over slavery—specifically, in the musical, between Adams and Routledge—it seems rather surprising that they didn’t recognize the conflict as the potential powder keg it actually was. On a political level…

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  1. Madeline Orr Madeline Orr

    Episode 10 of the podcast discussed the Civil War and showed different perspectives of the North and the South during that period. Both sides had very different reasons for the cause of the Civil War. I thought it was interesting that both sides maintained a rhetoric that avoided slavery. The North wanted to preserve the Union and the South was concerned for states rights and economic oppression. They didn’t fully realize until later that slavery was the main reason for conflict. What would it look like if slavery was abolished earlier than the Civil War? Would we see differences in culture and society today if it was abolished earlier?

  2. Mia Slaunwhite Mia Slaunwhite

    After listening to Dr. Bezio’s podcast 10 it made me begin to think of Robert E. Lee and his representation here in Richmond. Considering the fact that Richmond was the capital of the confederacy and Robert E. Lee was a general in the Civil War. Even though Lee surrendered to Grant in 1865, but Lee’s statue on Monument Ave. was built in 1890. So why was a statue built if he ended up losing the Civil War? Surrendering to me seems to be a sign of weakness, so was surrendering not enough to stop the building of his monument. I am just confused on why they would build a statue if ultimately lost.

  3. Zariah Chiverton Zariah Chiverton

    Do you think slavery would have been abolished if they didn’t use the emancipation of slaves as a tactic to win the war? The North won the won and so that meant the slaves were free but that was only because they wrote the Emancipation Proclamation a few years prior which deterred other countries from stepping in. What would things have looked like afterward if the North won and the Emancipation Proclamation was never a thing? Or if the South had won at all?

  4. Olivia Cosco Olivia Cosco

    In this podcast, I found it interesting how different the north and south’s reasoning for the civil war was. The north felt threatened by the south’s growing plantations, while the south felt threatened by the north’s growing industrialization. Losing 2% of the population to one war is a lot of people! If Lincoln had gotten the emancipation proclamation approved earlier, would the north have fought in a different way, due to the war now meaning the end of slavery? And, similar to Madeline’s question, if Lincoln had began a reconstruction period earlier, issuing the 13th amendment, what would the north and south conflict look like, and would we have even needed to fight a civil war?

  5. Kathrine Yeaw Kathrine Yeaw

    This podcast made me very aware of how many perspectives there are of a single event. I’ve always known that any historical event is interpreted differently depending on where you are from, but most of the time I always hear the same perspective, that of the US. Although, with the civil war it’s something different in the north and the south. It never occurred to me that Robert E. Lee would be highly praised in the south. But now especially, things are beginning to change, as many statues in Richmond are coming down. Why is it that the narrative that was always told here was from the Confederates point of view, and why has it taken so long for many of those biases to be changed? Is it naive to assume eventually the line dividing the north and south and their views will go away, and the US will have one perspective of the Civil War?

  6. Sofia Adams Sofia Adams

    I found Podcast 10 especially interesting because of the numerous amounts of perspectives there are on the civil war. It seems as if every person depending on where they are from/live/ and their background all have different perspectives. I have a different perspective from my friend Kayla who lives in the same place and had the same education as me on the civil war because she is African American, and therefore has a different personal relationship with the history of the civil war than I do. I find it interesting how deeply ingrained the differences between the north and south still are to this day. Being from the north I feel as if I have be exposed to a very singular view of the history of the civil war. I wonder how this often singular view of history affects our country to this day? How can the civil war be taught in a more wholistic way? In this case the civil war is not just taught from the victors side, how is that significant? What are the benefits of being exposed to many different perspectives of the civil war if it happened so long ago?

  7. Alexander Dimedio Alexander Dimedio

    Why were slaves treated the worst in the United States? Does this have anything to do with white privilege or the fact that slavery in the United States was mostly centered around race, unlike many other versions of slavery in other countries. This podcast outlines another version of United States history that contained more unethical actions, but are any of these actions justified? Is Sherman’s March justifiable because it ultimately lead to the abolition of slavery?

  8. Sara Moushegian Sara Moushegian

    Podcast 10 touches on a few eye-opening facts about the Civil War. I am proud that another course that I took here at Richmond, Slavery and Freedom with Professor Seeley, also dives into the flaws of how we have been taught the Civil War. It is interesting to hear how the rhetoric of slavery was not explicitly used in the beginning, but the South used cover-up reasons that all ultimately meant “we want to keep slavery”. In the podcast, Bezio also discusses how in today’s society, different states portray their Civil War leaders and tactics as heroes to young students, but that is surely not a universal opinion across the nation. How will we ever get all states within the US to tell the same history and expose their own flaws ? Will we ever be able to swallow our pride as states and own up to our past mistakes, so the truth can be told?

  9. Isabela Keetley Isabela Keetley

    Podcast 10 made me reconsider the Civil War. I found it very interesting that while indirectly, the war was fought about slavery, it was not mentioned as a cause. The North had decided they needed to preserve the union, while the South wanted control of their states. I also feel as if Lincoln is not commended as a strategist as he is more so commended as “the president who freed the slaves!” While obviously this is the most important thing that he accomplished, he did so very strategically. His idea to announce the Emancipation Proclamation towards the end of the war was for a very important reason. Thus, I wonder if the war had began due to the disconnect between the North and the South about slavery, would it have had the same outcome? Was the idea to wait on presenting the Emancipation Proclamation key to actually abolishing slavery, or would slavery have been abolished regardless of the time Lincoln produced the proclamation?

  10. William Coben William Coben

    This podcast touches on some of the key facts and dates of the American Civil War, but what I found most interesting about the podcast was the discussion about the discrepancies in the various ways that states reflect on their role and participation in the civil war. Being from Texas, I was taught a vastly different story than my northeastern peers. My question is: Will history ever be taught in a unified way, or will the state continue to push their narrative like we have commonly seen the United States do throughout history. I feel that if states continue to teach history in different ways, the division could arise in our country in the forms of grudges and biases against other Americans, which is the last thing we need.

  11. Thomas Bennett Thomas Bennett

    There is that iconic Abraham Lincoln quote about how he would do whatever it took to keep the union together whether that would be with or without slavery. What changed between that quote and the Emancipation Proclamation? Was there any strategic reason behind the Emancipation Proclamation or was it simply a moral declaration?

  12. Elina Bhagwat Elina Bhagwat

    Podcast 10 reminded me a little bit of our discussion about the American Revolution and how majority of the population was against the revolution. I am from Maryland and was doing some research on whether is was a northern or southern state. It seems as though it was a border state and there were major discrepancies within the state about whether or not to secede. This made me wonder if this situation with the Civil War was similar to that of the American Revolution where political elites had the power to make decisions regardless of the common people’s beliefs. Were there disagreements between political elites and common people in each state in regard to deciding to secede from the union? Or were the beliefs generally unified for most people in the South, and anti-slavery sentiments were generally unified for the North?

  13. Zachary Andrews Zachary Andrews

    I thought Dr. Bezio’s podcast about the Civil War was very informative. Specifically, I found it interesting how depending upon that state you are in, you learn different material. An example mentioned in the podcast was how people in the South often learn that the war was more about economic oppression and states rights whereas in the North, people learn that the war was about slavery. I also found it very interesting that the general rule is that you need 5% of the population in order to perform a successful revolt/rebellion. In early America, the African American population accounted for approximately 13%. If all 13% had revolted and performed a successful revolt, what would America look like today?

  14. Maggie Otradovec Maggie Otradovec

    The idea that there is still such an educational divide between the north and south when it comes to the Civil War baffles me. Frankly, I’m surprised that there hasn’t been reforms in how the Civil War was taught in schools. It would be similar to how Germany treats the subject of Hitler and Nazi Germany, as something to learn about and to learn from in order to avoid its repetition. While various regions/states have distinct stereotypes (Valley Girls/Surfer Dudes from California, angry or mean New Yorkers, Midwesterners that are basically Canadian, etc), why is it that this identity hasn’t evolved into something more progressive to fit today’s social climate? We have seemingly come a long way since slavery and the end of the Civil War, so why is this division still so apparent?

  15. Olivia Cranshaw Olivia Cranshaw

    In Podcast 10, the visualization of losing 2% of the population/the amount of those who contracted COVID-19, really put into perspective the impact of the war on the physical makeup of the United States at that time. I did know how large the Civil War was, but I did not realize that it is still the most deadly war for Americans, which may be because I am from the North where we focused on WWII for months every year. Although we have discussed it in class before, what I think is really interesting is how drastically different history can be just depending on what region of the country you are from. Should there be a singular “correct” version of history to implement throughout the country or is it important to have these regional differences (to a certain extent)?

  16. Mohamad Kassem Mohamad Kassem

    This podcast discussed the civil war from different angles and the perspective of the North and the South. Each side feared that the other had the capacity to shift the balance of power. What I found really interesting is the ethical aspect behind Sherman’s March although it is why slaves are free now. Would it be fair to assume that it was okay to use unethical tactics as the result of them was the freedom of slaves? How would the war look if the abolition of slavery happened earlier?

  17. Sophia Picozzi Sophia Picozzi

    This podcast really opened my eyes to the true causes of the civil war and showed me how competitive the North and the South were to one another. The US wasn’t really a constant united front throughout history, which is confusing because our national rhetoric and the national myths we cherish are all centered around complete unity as a nation. This podcast made me wonder why is the US so obsessed with perpetuating ideas of immense patriotism and unity when we are actually riddled with separation and difference? Why is this ideology constantly shoved in our faces? Why can’t we just admit that there are differences and conflicting views throughout the country based on geography and then try to fix or resolve them? Will we ever realize this or will our progress as a country be stinted because of the neglect of this division?

  18. Michael Childress Michael Childress

    In one part of the podcast, we discussed how each region felt threatened by the other. The south felt that the north wanted to take away their slaves and their freedom to secede. The north was fighting for unity and to preserve the economy, as the south’s booming plantation economy was a potential threat to the north’s industrial economy. However, the ability to own and keep slaves was never really mentioned until later on in the war, until the north was almost forced to enlist black men in their forces. For me, this goes back to the fact that rich white men were paying poor whites to fight for them, until enough of them died that they needed replacements. This raises two questions for me. Would the north have enlisted blacks in their army if they had enough poor whites that would have continued fighting? Secondly, if they had not enlisted these blacks, do you think the war would have had as much significance in terms of ending slavery? In other words, was enlisting blacks in the northern army the first/ most significant step in pushing for their social equality, even if they weren’t treated as entirely equal within the army?

  19. William Clifton William Clifton

    Towards the end of this podcast Dr. Bezio talks about the perspectives of the Civil War, and the ways it is portrayed differently dependent on where you’re from. She mentions how both the North and the South tried to deviate from the underlying motivation to start a civil war. Which was puzzling because in my eyes, I had always thought the North was at no fault for the start of the Civil War. Of course, they weren’t at fault in the sense that they were not the problem in America, however you could make the argument that the economic oppression they showed the South is what sparked the flame of war. While the motivation to fight for people varied both in the North and the South, there is no denying the reason for war, slavery. To go back to my initial comment about perspective, it is hard. It is hard for me to imagine a time where slavery and civil war was a thought or a reality. The articles we read and the stories we hear help give way to a perspective I didn’t know I could have.

  20. Charley Blount Charley Blount

    In the podcast, you mention that states admitted into the Union during the nineteenth century at least partially to maintain (or undo) a balance between slave states and free states. Are there other examples of political motivations for granting territories statehood?

  21. Samuel Hussey Samuel Hussey

    Episode 10 of the podcast discussed the triumph and tragedy of the American Civil War. Dr. Bezio discussed how different areas of the country teach the civil war differently to hide the struggles that that area faced and create an area bias. This is a different strategy that Germany adopted after World War II to prevent another situation arising. How has the pride of the southern states impacted the slow reconstruction period and allowed for problems to still arise today regarding racism?

  22. Pierce Kaliner Pierce Kaliner

    Episode 10 really explains the entire history around the Civil War. What I found interesting was the dynamic between the slave states and the free states before the war even started. I had previously learned that there was always tension between the slave and free states and that the Civil War was ultimately inevitable. However, Dr. Bezio explains that the war actually wasn’t inevitable, but happened because our Founding Fathers avoided talking about slavery in the Constitution. So, I wonder if Thomas Jefferson was successful in abolishing the slave trade in the Constitution how much different would our country look today? What would the quality of life look like for African Americans in the present?

  23. Michael Stein Michael Stein

    The Civil War was clearly about slavery; however, slavery was the origin of many political issues of the 19th century. In the opening of today’s podcast, Dr. Bezio notes that many American politicians of the time didn’t realize the political powder keg that slavery presented. On top of restricting millions of Americans of their rights, the fight over whether or not new states would allow slavery divided government for decades leading up to the war. If politicians in the 19th century kept creating and recreating agreements to balance the power of slave and free states, why did they not realize the growing threat to the union presented by slavery? Was the political pressure too high to allow any encompassing compromise? Could slavery ever have been abolished without war?

  24. Jeffrey Sprung Jeffrey Sprung

    Podcast Episode 10 focused on the Civil War. In the podcast, Dr. Bezio explained the various perspectives and motivations of the Civil War throughout different regions of the United States. In addition, Dr. Bezio mentioned the immense amount of casualties that occurred during the Civil War. During the war, roughly 655 thousand Americans died, which accounted for 2% of the United States population. Dr. Bezio pointed out that the amount of people that died in the Civil War equates to the amount of people that would have died if COVID-19 had a 100% mortality rate in the United States. This made me wonder: how did the disruption of the daily lives of Americans during the Civil War correlate to the level of disruptions that Americans in the United States face today due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

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