Andrew Jackson's first serious biographer called him "an atrocious saint" because of his many contradictions. He could be both pragmatic and dogmatic in his personal dealings, his life in the military, and his terms as president. This lecture will cover the many events in Jackson's life and try to locate those core values that explain who he truly was. In his life, he brushed up against many famous people from John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay to Peggy Eaton and Sam Houston, yet he towered above them all.
Examine some of the heroes and villains that shaped history. Learn interesting and notable facts about each selected character, how they influenced history in positive and negative ways, and how their actions affected the United States and the world. Register for the entire series or for individual topics of interest. Senior adult and disabled retiree course fee waivers apply when registering for the series.
Course Fee: $59
Material Fee: $49
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
American Profiles: Betsy Patterson Bonaparte, "Dutchess of Baltimore"
Long before Baltimore's Wallace Warfield Simpson married into British royalty, Betsy Patterson entered the imperial family of Napoleon Bonaparte by marrying his youngest brother, Jerome. Alas, it was not to be a lengthy marriage since Napoleon rejected the match and eventually convinced his brother to seek a new wife elsewhere. Betsy spent a lifetime seeking a throne for her son and entrance into European society for herself. Sadly, she spent far too many years alone in Baltimore, a city she professed to hate. Along the way, she shocked proper Americans with the risque dress and became a fast friend to Dolley Madison.
Jacksonian America is known for the rapid settlement of the west, times of boom and bust, and the development of a full-blown democracy. It was also a time of perfectionism, reform and the establishment of numerous utopias. This was a movement by ordinary people with some extraordinary ideas and massive amounts of energy.
Canals were once visionary undertakings, providing more efficient transportation methods. Examine the history of these waterways on the Upper Chesapeake and the Lower Susquehanna River. Begin your study of the canals in the classroom , then visit places along these ancient paths for a closer examination of the canals, the built environment, and the transformations that have taken place over time.
Early 19th New England witnessed a burst of creative activity. Writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Dave Thoreau and Nathaniel Hawthorne helped bring the Romantic Age to America and took it to the limit by introducing something known as Transcendentalism. Come and explore this lively group of writers as well as some of their lesser known associates like Margaret Fuller and Bronson Alcott. These days we might think of these rabid individualists as ?hippies? but they were far more interesting.
Course Fee: $19
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Historical Heroes and Villains: Louisa Catherine Adams
America's only foreign-born first lady, Louisa Catherine Adams, faced many challenges as she grew into a confident, nineteenth-century feminist. She saw her son kidnapped in New York and chased down the kidnapper through dangerous streets. She traveled from St. Petersburg, Russia, to Paris in the dead of winter, through a landscape riddled with the battlefields of Napoleonic Europe. Yet perhaps her greatest challenges were her husband, John Quincy Adams, and her famous mother-in-law, Abigail Adams.
Course Fee: $19
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Historical Heroes and Villains: Sam Houston, Father of Texas
Sam Houston was president of a country - The Republic of Texas, governor of two states, a congressman and senator, and a military hero who received four wounds in the service of his country. Friend to Andrew Jackson, he was a larger than life western hero with many virtues - loyalty among them - and a basketful of vices, including a penchant for strong whisky and lots of it. He was a man of character who shaped much of the early southwest.
Examine and discuss the lives of America's Presidential wives throughout history. Review the early years, education, social status, careers before the White House, and life after the White House. In addition, students examine the First Ladies' years in the White House and their impact on their husbands' presidency and on American society and culture over all.
Born as the result of a bitter territorial dispute over royal land grants, the Mason-Dixon Line was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 to settle the boundaries for Pennsylvania and Maryland. After 1820, when the Missouri Compromise created political conditions which made the line important to the history of slavery, it became associated with the division between the free and slave states. Today the line is still seen by many as a symbolic dividing line for regional attitudes and customs. This program explores the story of the line, which runs through our land and our history, along with the perceptions that have developed about the boundary.
Study the Assyrian Empire with emphasis on the Neo-Assyrian Period, 911 BC to 609 BC. The Neo-Assyrians destroyed the Kingdom of Israel (The Northern Kingdom successor state to David and Solomon’s Israel) of the Bible leading to the Assyrian captivity. Learn what made the Assyrian people famous; study the architecture of their palaces and temples; and discuss the elaborate structure of state bureaucracy, taxation and provincial administration, military expeditions, mass deportations, and sumptuous cult festivals. Senior adult and disabled retiree course fee waivers apply.
Examine the various famous and not so famous scandals that have rocked the American Presidency throughout its history. Examine and discuss the Presidents involved, their administrations, the events of the scandals, the results and impact of the scandals on American society, and historical rankings of these Presidents raked with scandal. Some of the scandals examined include the XYZ Affair, Hemmings and Jefferson, the Corrupt Bargain, Grant’s Presidency, the Impeachments of Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, and Nixon and Watergate. Senior adult and disabled retiree course fee waivers apply.
Examine the history of the Susquehanna region, concentrating on the Maryland portion of the waterway and the towns and villages that grew up on the River. It begins with a classroom study of the past on the river and includes field trips to study how the towns and the region that grew as a result of the river.
Examine the Second World War: its origins, duration, and consequences. Taking a global perspective, study all theaters of war and relate events in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Southeast and Southwest Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America to each other. Compare and contrast their economies, industry, society, and culture during the Second World War and explore the role of diplomacy and strategy. Other topics include the impact of war upon society and an examination of battle strategies from the context of modern warfare. Senior adult and disabled retiree course fee waivers apply.
Study the Vietnam war from precolonial days through America's intervention to modern nationhood. Discuss the changing roles of the media and how if affected the war and the opinions of the war. The final session includes a panel discussion with serveral veterans of the Vietnam War and will allow participants to hear about the war first hand. Senior adult and disabled retiree course fee waivers apply.