Locating the War in a Contemporary Context – Interpretation of my Digital Commonoplace Book

In my posts, I have looked primarily at music and how the Civil War has been remembered.  While Civil War music was definitely high in my interests, it led my somewhere that I was not anticipating.  While examining music and it is role in remembering the Civil War last week, I was brought towards the idea of education.  I found a school in Harpursville, NY, that used music to add to lesson plans about the Civil War – I became interested in how the Civil War is taught, and how that varies across the nation.  Especially with the recent sesquicentennial of the War, there have been countless efforts to bring old issues to light and honor the values of those who died.  These efforts become a form of education for the youth, who look at these reenactments and ceremonies as their first encounter with the Civil War.  I think this interest really sparked when I looked at Sons of Confederate Veterans in my third post – their goal is to instill a sense of Confederate pride in Southerners.  To incorporate even more of my interests, I will also look at Civil War in popular media, as so many youth today learn from what they see on TV.  Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, who both anchor popular news shows on Comedy Central, will be of interest here – they both discussed the sesquicentennial in a recent episode of their respective shows – http://cwmemory.com/2010/12/10/jon-stewarts-civil-war-sesquicentennial/, and http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/270725/april-13-2010/the-word—the-lost-cause. I would like to look at not only at the educational efforts both in the media and beyond, but also the reaction they trigger across regions in the US.  By looking at how the War is taught and reacted to, I seek to answer the question we have been asking so frequently in class:  did the Civil War ever truly end?

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