“Greater Reconstruction” is one such articulation of a broader historical approach to the themes and big questions of the traditional Reconstruction era, allowing historians, and anyone interested, a chance to gain a truly national perspective of the tumultuous post-Civil War period.
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Between 1820 and 1860, the visual map of the United States was transformed by unprecedented urbanization and rapid territorial expansion. These changes mutually fueled the Second Industrial Revolution which peaked between 1870 and 1914. Between the annexation of Texas (1845), the British retreat from Oregon country, and The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (1848) which cemented Mexican cession of the Southwest to the United States, territorial expansion exponentially rewrote the competing visions that free-soilers, European immigrants, industrial capitalists, and Native Americans held for the future of the American Empire.
The recent release of the History Channel’s original mini-series The Hatfields and the McCoys has sparked renewed interested in this epic family feud, as well as other feuds in American history. But what makes this story so enduring? What is fact and what is legend? How does the Hatfield-McCoy saga fit into the context of its… MORE