Thursday, January 26, 2023

History Dork #1: Gary W. Gallagher

This is my favorite lecture on the American Civil War. Gary W. Gallagher is a very bright guy and makes a lot of incredible points, both on a specific level and a general level. If you are a Civil War Dork I highly recommend watching.

But if not here are my favorite general takeaways:

  • History and memory are two very different things. There's history, and then there's memory of history, and it's important to keep that in mind when trying to understand historical events.
  • Don't start at the end of the story and work your way backward to figure things out. Read forward in the evidence.
  • A bad Hollywood movie will still have a far greater impact on the public's perception of history than the world's greatest history scholar.
  • When standard exams have answers to questions that are "wrong" right answers, tell your students to put the "wrong" answer down, and then explain to them why it's not true. It will be a good life lesson for them.
  • If you wait for everything to be perfect before doing something, you'll never do anything.

For the history buffs out there, here are some specific takeaways I found interesting:

  • Barely anyone in the country paid attention to "The Gettysburg Address" when it was delivered.
  • If America today was mobilized to the degree that the United States was mobilized during the Civil War, there'd be 32 million people in uniform.
  • If America today was mobilized to the degree that the Confederacy was, there'd be 50 million people in uniform.
  • The Confederacy (up until the late 20th century) was the most intrusive federal government in North American history. They passed an aggressive income tax and taxed 10% of all Agricultural production from their citizens.
  • There were 100,000 total casualties in six weeks during the Overland Campaign
  • Gallagher considers Winfield Scott to be one of the five greatest soldiers in U.S. history
  • Ulysses S. Grant's funeral was the largest funeral in U.S. history, with 1.5 million attendees
  • Grant's tomb in New York City is the largest tomb in North America
Just a cool video I thought I'd share. I guess this technically should fall under the YouTube Cavern category lol. I guess History Dork posts will be a subsidiary of the Cavern, with oppos for going outside the YouTube wormhole. Hope you found something here fascinating. God Bless.

- ZB James

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