We the Teachers

American Presidents Webinar: Lyndon Johnson

 

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Saturday, April 9th’s American Presidents webinar focused on Lyndon Johnson and the two pillars of his administration: the Great Society, and the Vietnam War. Panelists discussed topics ranging from the impact of Johnson’s political skill and legislative experience on the development and passage of his policies, as well as the role of Democratic majorities in Congress at the time. Of interest was the broad, bipartisan support expansion of Social Security enjoyed, as compared against other large social programs of the 20th and early 21st centuries, and how this support, or lack of it, shaped the policies and the politics surrounding and following them.

johnson2LBJ’s views on and actions related to Vietnam were discussed at length, touching on what seemed to be his lack of interest in being involved, and yet his sense of necessity to stay involved in the war he inherited. The panelists also touched on the different rhetoric LBJ used when promoting his social programs versus that he employed regarding Vietnam and foreign policy. View the archive page, with document and YouTube links, and scholar bios, here.

To register for the final webinar of the 2015-16 school year on Saturday, May 7 at 11:00 AM EST discussing Ronald Reagan – The Great Communicator, click here.

Webinar: Religion in American History & Politics – Jefferson and Hamilton

 

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Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson were, famously, political opponents.  Their differences went beyond grand visions of the country’s future and the daily operation of the new government, however.  They also disagreed about religion.  We will examine their disagreement by reading and discussing some of their writings on the still controversial issue of religion and its role in politics. On Saturday, 12 March, David Tucker, Jason Stevens, and Stephen Knott discussed the religious views of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, and how these impacted their actions and relationship.

Access the primary documents reading packet for this program here.

Subscribe to our iTunes podcast here.

American Presidents Webinar: Dwight Eisenhower

 

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The latest in our American Presidents webinar series took place on Saturday, 4 March 2016, with Dwight D. Eisenhower as the focus for this month. Drs. Chris Burkett, Joe Postell, and David Alvis discussed Ike’s handling of the Korean War, Cold War, and rapid change at home during the 70-minute program, and recommended Fred Greenstein’s The Hidden Hand Presidency: Eisenhower as Leader for those interested in learning more.

The archive page for the program, with audio, video, and documents links, is here.

American Presidents Webinar: Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

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Franklin D. Roosevelt was the subject of Saturday, 13 February’s American Presidents webinar. Professor Chris Burkett, of Ashland University, moderated the 80-minute discussion between Drs. Stephen Tootle and David Krugler, which focused on topics ranging from FDR’s handling of the Great Depression in both political and policy terms to the controversies of his presidency, including the ‘court packing’ incident. Panelists also discussed FDR’s relations with foreign powers during World War II, and discussed his impact on the country and the presidency. Over 90 teachers attended, posing a number of thoughtful questions.

Our scholars recommend the following books on the subject:

You can access the video and documents archive for the FDR webinar here.

Join us next month, on 5 March, for American Presidents: Dwight Eisenhower – Change at Home and Challenge Abroad.

American Presidents: Theodore Roosevelt

 

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TAH.org kicked off 2016 with the sixth episode in this year’s American Presidents webinar series. Today’s 75-minute program, moderated as always by the Dr. Chris Burkett of Ashland University, included discussion of TR’s economic, domestic, and foreign policy moves and ideas, his place in American presidential politics, and his impact on electoral politics even today.

In addition to answering the many excellent questions posed by teachers, the scholars recommended the History of American Political Thought as a good resource for learning more about TR’s ideas and ideology.

You can also access the documents and a YouTube archive of the program here, on TAH.org.

American Presidents Webinar: Richard Nixon

 

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On Tuesday, 1 December 2015, TeachingAmericanHistory.org presented a bonus webinar in its American Presidents series. Put on in conjunction with NCSS, this one-hour episode was a bonus program for NCSS members who had attended other TAH.org webinars this year. Dr. Chris Burkett, of Ashland University, moderated the lively discussion between Drs. Eric Pullin and John Moser, who emphasized Nixon’s foreign policy decisions and policies throughout most of the program. The documents used for the program can be downloaded here.

Saturday Webinar: James K. Polk

 

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TAH.org hosted the fifth in this school year’s American Presidents webinar series, this time focusing on the single term presidency of James K. Polk. The 72-minute discussion between scholars was attended by a live teacher audience of 69 from across the country, and touched on topics from Polk’s role in Manifest Destiny to the Mexican War, and his impact on America of his times and afterward.

We The People Webinar session 6

 

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The final session of the Foundation for Teaching the U.S. Constitution webinar took place on Tuesday, 27 October 2015, with Dr. Gordon Lloyd discussing the final Hearing Question and the challenges that face and are likely to face American Constitutional Democracy in the 21st Century.

We The People Webinar: Session 4

 

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13 October 2015 saw the 4th session of the joint webinar series between TAH.org and the Center for Civic Education’s We the People program, hosted by Dr. Gordon Lloyd. This session focused on the State Hearing questions from Unit 4, which leads off with “How have the values and principles embodied in the Constitution shaped American institutions and practices?”

Webinar: Religious Liberty and the Courts

 

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A 75-minute discussion between scholars with a live teacher audience, this program explores the impact of several key US Supreme Court cases on the definition and limits of religious liberty in America, originally broadcast on 3 October 2015.

Jeff Sikkenga (Ashland University) and Matthew Franck (Witherspoon Institute) will discuss three recent Supreme Court cases that dealt with religion: Burwell v. Hobby Lobby; Abercrombie and Fitch v. the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and Holt v. Hobbs.

In the Hobby Lobby case the court ruled that closely-held for profit companies were exempt from provisions of the Affordable Care Act that violated the religious beliefs of the companies owners. The Court’s opinion may be found here.

The Abercrombie case concerned the decision of Abercrombie and Fitch not to hire someone because they wore a head scarf, which violated the company’s dress code.  The court ruled that the job applicant did not have to specifically ask for the company to accommodate her religious practice (the head scarf) in order for the job applicant to be protected by Title VII’s prohibition on the basis of religion. The Court’s opinion may be found here.

In Hobbs v. Holt, the Court ruled that prison authorities could not prevent an inmate from growing a beard for religious reasons because doing so violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.  The Court’s decision may be found here.

Matthew J. Franck is the Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute, Princeton, New Jersey.  He is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Radford University, in Radford, Virginia, where he taught constitutional law, American politics, and political philosophy from 1989 to 2010, was Chairman of the  Department of Political Science from 1995 to 2010, and received the Radford University Foundation Award for Creative Scholarship in 2001.  He is also Visiting Lecturer in Politics at Princeton University.

Jeffrey Sikkenga is professor of political science at Ashland University, adjunct fellow of the John M. Ashbrook Center and senior fellow in the Program on Constitutionalism and Democracy at the University of Virginia. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in political thought, the American Founding and American constitutional law. He is deeply interested in the relationship between politics and religion in liberal democracy and America in particular.

This Webinar is the second in a series of three on Religion in American History and Politics.  The third will occur March 12, 2016.  David Tucker and Stephen Knott will discuss the views of Jefferson and Hamilton on religion and politics.

American Presidents: Andrew Jackson

 

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Andrew Jackson was the focus of Saturday, October 10th’s American Presidents webinar, moderated by Chris Burkett and featuring Jeremy Bailey and Jace Weaver as panelists, with a live teacher audience of over 80. Of particular interest was Jackson’s balance between executive power and his support of states’ rights – something that is often difficult to reconcile. During the discussion two books were mentioned as being particularly good resources for information about Jackson: Presidential Greatness, which has a chapter about Jackson; and Andrew Jackson, by Robert Remini.

We The People Webinar: Session 3

 

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In this third session of our joint webinar series with the Center for Civic Education, Dr. Gordon Lloyd discusses the relationship the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, and how the Civil War amendments and their impact over time have changed interpretations and understanding of the original document and American Founding.

We The People Webinar: Session 2

 

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Session 2 of TAH.org and the Center for Civic Education’s joint webinar series about the creation and meaning of the United States Constitution. In this 75-minute program, Dr. Gordon Lloyd discusses the actual framing of the Constitution, including his thoughts on the Articles of Confederation and their failures; the New Jersey and Virginia plans and their comparative merits; and the ratification debate.

 

We The People Webinar: Session 1

 

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On Tuesday, 22 SEP 15, TAH.org and the Center for Civic Education hosted a 72-minute webinar featuring Dr. Gordon Lloyd, who spoke about the historical and philosophical roots of the United States Constitution, and provided some ideas about how teachers can frame instruction about the document and the ideas set forth by it. You can watch the video archive below, and the the podcast is at the top of this post.

One of the questions asked at the end of this program was about which philosophers or schools of thought most shaped the Founders and their views on politics. Dr. Lloyd suggested George H. Nash’s Books and the Founding Fathers as a solid resource for learning about what the Founders read.

Once all six episodes are completed we will build a single archive page on TAH.org for all program sessions and materials.

 

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