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Politics and Political Violence in American History

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ClassGraphic Today’s political norm breaking and violence, alarming as they are, have been seen before, especially during tumultuous periods in American history. Using two short books by Yale professor Joanne Freeman, we will explore and analyze this evolving political culture during two critical periods of American history. In Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic (Beacon Press Books, 2021), Freeman describes how America’s first national politicians, without previous experience in a democracy, created norms, and a “grammar of politics.” We will see that during the 1790’s the founders used everything from gossip to dueling to wield the “honor code” against political opponents. In The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to the Civil War (Picador, 2018), Freeman examines bullying, dueling, caning, brandishing of pistols and bowie knives, and even wild melees in the House itself. We will compare this to our current experiences of bullying, threats of violence, and even physical assault in our everyday political lives. We will explore how the public reacts to political threats and violence, and how Congress deals with them within its own institution will matter greatly in the years going forward. Study group members will discuss how past and present events of political violence are intertwined.

Class Details

14 Session(s)
Weekly - Mon

Virtual - Any Location

MultipleInstructor :
1.Kathy Ruhl2.Stephan Romm3.Lisa D'Angelo 



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Schedule Information

Skip dates: (No class on 05/29/2023)

Date(s) Class Days Times Location Instructor(s)
3/6/2023 - 6/12/2023 Weekly - Mon 01:15 PM - 03:15 PM N/A, Virtual - Any Location  Map Lisa D'Angelo  ; Stephan Romm  ; Kathy Ruhl 
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