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William Lowndes Yancey and the Coming of the Civil War

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This podcast is part of the series: ArchiTreats: Food for Thought

Creator:

Eric Walther


School/Organization:

Alabama Department of Archives and History

Overview:

ArchiTreats: Food for Thought continues another year of informative talks on Alabama history at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. Join us as Eric Walther presents William Lowndes Yancey and the Coming of the Civil War.

Eric Walther’s talk, based on his recent biography of William Lowndes Yancey, could easily be titled “the making of a fire eater,” or “the Yancey that nobody knows.” Professor Walther will detail the many profound and troubling incidents in the early years of Yancey’s life in order to explain how this man transformed from a die-hard Unionist into Alabama’s premier secessionist. Family turbulence and violence combined with the hypocrisy and duplicity of his Northern step-father, resulting in Yancey’s early rejection and distrust of Northern society and his belief in the innate superiority of the slaveholding regime of the antebellum South. As disunion grew close in the 1850s, in a speech to students at the University of Alabama, Yancey all but pronounced himself the embodiment of the South and its leading defender.

Eric Walther teaches U.S. History at the University of Houston. His specialty is the Antebellum South and the coming of the Civil War. He received a B.A. in History and American Studies from California State University, Fullerton and M. A. and Ph.D. degrees from Louisiana State University. Walther is the author of three books, numerous articles, and book reviews. Shattering of the Union: America in the 1850s, won a Choice Magazine book award in 2004. William Lowndes Yancey and the Coming of the Civil War was published by the University of North Carolina Press in the spring of 2006 and has received the James Rawley Award from the Southern Historical Association and the Jefferson Davis Award from the Mus eum of the Confederacy.

This program is part of the statewide Becoming Alabama initiative to commemorate three landmark events in the development of Alabama: the Creek War of 1813‐1814, the CivilWar and Emancipation, and th e Civil Rights Movement. ArchiTreats: Food for Thought lecture series is made possible by the Friends of the Alabama Archives. The public is invited to bring a sack lunch and enjoy a bit of Alabama history. Coffee and tea will be provided by the Friends of the Alabama Archives. For more information, call (334) 353‐4726.


Length: 57:22

Content Areas: Social Studies

Alabama Course of Study Alignments and/or Professional Development Standard Alignments:

SS2010 (4) Alabama Studies
7. Explain reasons for Alabama's secession from the Union, including sectionalism, slavery, states' rights, and economic disagreements.
  • Identifying Alabama's role in the organization of the Confederacy, including hosting the secession convention and the inauguration ceremony for leaders
  • Recognizing Montgomery as the first capital of the Confederacy
  • Interpreting the Articles of the Confederation and the Gettysburg Address
  •  
    SS2010 (5) United States Studies: Beginnings to the Industrial Revolution
    11. Identify causes of the Civil War, including states' rights and the issue of slavery.
  • Describing the importance of the Missouri Compromise, Nat Turner's insurrection, the Compromise of 1850, the Dred Scott decision, John Brown's rebellion, and the election of 1860
  • Recognizing key Northern and Southern personalities, including Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Joseph Wheeler (Alabama)
  • Describing social, economic, and political conditions that affected citizens during the Civil War
  • Identifying Alabama's role in the Civil War (Alabama)
  • Examples: Montgomery as the first capital of the Confederacy, Winston County's opposition to Alabama's secession (Alabama)
  • Locating on a map sites important to the Civil War
  • Examples: Mason-Dixon Line, Fort Sumter, Appomattox, Gettysburg, Confederate states, Union states (Alabama)
  • Explaining events that led to the conclusion of the Civil War
  •  
    SS2010 (10) United States History I: Beginnings to the Industrial Revolution
    13. Summarize major legislation and court decisions from 1800 to 1861 that led to increasing sectionalism, including the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the Compromise of 1850, the Fugitive Slave Acts, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the Dred Scott decision. [A.1.a., A.1.c., A.1.e., A.1.f., A.1.g., A.1.i., A.1.j.]
  • Describing Alabama's role in the developing sectionalism of the United States from 1819 to 1861, including participation in slavery, secession, the Indian War, and reliance on cotton (Alabama)
  • Analyzing the Westward Expansion from 1803 to 1861 to determine its effect on sectionalism, including the Louisiana Purchase, Texas Annexation, and the Mexican Cession
  • Describing tariff debates and the nullification crisis between 1800 and 1861
  • Analyzing the formation of the Republican Party for its impact on the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States
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