Announcing a New Online Course on the American Civil War

Posted on: 01/06/2020 Back to all blog posts

You asked, and we have delivered! During the last few years, parents have asked us to add American history courses to the Royal Fireworks Online Learning Community. We are happy to say that we at last have found the instructor we need to do just that. Dr. Stephen Cox not only has taught at the university level; he also has decades of work delivering historical experience to a wider public through state historical societies in New Hampshire and Indiana. This spring he will offer a specialized course on the Civil War called The American Civil War: From Slavery to Segregation, including the battles and leading personalities, as well as an exploration of the preamble to the conflict and the results that disappointed so many in the generations that followed.

Concentrating on a single set of events such as the Civil War allows a focus that goes beyond the basics to sophisticated historiographic considerations of how we interpret what we know, what constitutes evidence for an interpretation, and other concerns of professional historians. In doing so, it allows us to provide students with a learning experience that takes them well beyond what is commonly available to an opportunity to see how the professionals do it.

In the next academic year, Dr. Cox has committed to offering a survey of American history and possibly other high-level specialized courses. Dr. Cox is very much in the mold of the teachers we wish to have in the Royal Fireworks Online Learning Community. Beyond his professional expertise, he is genial by nature and a genuinely nice guy; his warmth will help to create a safe space in which children can have a positive learning experience. We are lucky to have him as a teacher in our Online Learning Community.

The other historical subjects we are offering this spring are two courses in ancient history. The History of Ancient Rome gives students an insight into Roman culture and how it reshaped the ancient world. A major consideration of this course will be Roman manufacturing might; the Romans were the greatest industrial power before the British in the nineteenth century. Since little of this story is based on written literature, students will be challenged to explore other sources of historical knowledge.

The course in ancient Greece is devoted to the literature of Greece in the Classical Age and includes writings in history and philosophy, as well as the comedic and tragic plays of the period. This is the period in which the Athenians developed democracy, philosophy, the theater, and the writing of history. The readings in this course include those from some of the most important figures in the foundation of the Western intellectual tradition: Plato, Aristotle, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Herodotus, and Thucydides.

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