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Zentangle International Fun

The institution of slavery and its social ramifications has been an integral part of the American experience since the first Black African slaves were first introduced into America in 1619.

Since then, the vestiges of slavery and its implications have permeated virtually every aspect of American society. As such, no institution has remained untouched by its impact during the intervening four hundred years nor have these former slaves and their contemporary descendants of today ever been fully granted access to the fundamental ideals of liberty, freedom, and equality that characterize the American experience. The result over time has been the gradual evolution of two separate Americas, one White and one non-White. If judged by recent elections and other current events, this growing disaffection is deepening rather than declining. Why?

In order to provide some insight into this question, this course proposes to focus on two key issues that encapsulate historically the American experience of the past four centuries. First, has the concept of two separate Americas always been an inherent aspect of the American experience? Second, how has the American experience responded to the challenge of non-White access to the ideals of liberty, freedom, and equality, ideals that pre-date the American Revolution?

To that end, the course will begin with a brief introduction pertaining to slavery and England prior 1619. The course itself will be divided into specific historical periods through which each of the stated issues can be examined. For example, the first period will focus on the formative period of the American experience and its initial iteration in a largely agrarian society between 1619 and 1820. From there, we will examine the different periods of American development including the first industrial revolution, the gilded age and the second industrial revolution, and conclude with post-WWII America.

Course Topics
(1) Introduction and the Initial Stage of the American Experience, 1619-1820
(2) The First American Industrial Revolution and the American Experience, 1820-1870
(3) The Gilded Age, the Second Industrial Revolution and the American Experience, 1870-1945
(4) The American Experience Since World War II, 1945-present


Course Materials
The Declaration of Independence
Constitution of the United States
The Federalist Papers
Others to follow at a later date

David K. McQuilkin has taught History and Political Science at various colleges and universities for more than forty years. In 1985, he joined the Department of History and Political Science at Bridgewater College as a faculty member and department chair and retired as professor emeritus of History and Political in 2009. Since then, he has taught history and political sciences courses at Blue Ridge Community College, offered numerous LLI courses through JMU, made presentations on various topics and current events to local community organizations, written book reviews, and serves as a political analyst for WHSV. His most recent LLI Course, "George III, English Politics, and the American Revolution" was presented in August-early September, 2020.

There are no scheduled sessions at this time. Sign up to be notified when this course is available.

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