Has the Sesquicentennial of the U.S. Civil War Been a Failure?

Earlier this month The Wall Street Journal‘s Cameron McWhirter argued that the 150-Year Anniversary of the Civil War “has been disappointing so far.”  He based his argument on the fact that the sale of Civil War relics and memorabilia is down, government funding has been limited, the number of re-enactments have dropped, and racial issues have brought unease. 

Jesse Marx, writing at The Week, has also pointed to the declining number of reenactors and re-enactments.

But Nick Sacco, writing at his blog “Exploring the Past” is not buying all of this negative press about the Sesquicentennial.  He writes:

…we should proceed with caution before deeming the entire commemoration a failure. Rather, we should consider the ways people are engaging with and learning about the war through their experiences in history classrooms and at a free-choice informal learning settings like Civil War battlefields and museums. Measuring the extent to which people demonstrate changes in knowledge through their learning experiences at Civil War sites can tell us more about the influence of the Sesquicentennial than the purchase of a teddy bear with a Union or Confederate kepi.

According to Sacco’s long-term calculations, attendance is actually up at Antietam, Chickamauga, Gettysburg, Shiloh, Fort Sumter,  and Vicksburg.  Check out his post here.

3 thoughts on “Has the Sesquicentennial of the U.S. Civil War Been a Failure?

  1. Por otro lado, Vacheron Replicas Relojes Constantin ha diseñado el caso oro gris 18 quilates de su tienda tradicional Relojes de imitacion Moscú nuevo según dos criterios: una elegante suavidad de su perfil vinculación indiscutiblemente a la tradición clásica, así como Replica Relojes su diámetro 41 mm dándole una dimensión contemporánea. La parte inferior perforada estaba equipada con un zafiro para admirar su movimiento.


  2. John. Sesquicentennial with a twist–For your readers who may be in the Shenandoah Valley this June 14, there is a commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Assassination of the Elder John Kline, German Baptist Brethren church leader, anti-slavery activist, and pacifist. This home-front story had ramifications throughout the German Baptist Brethren communities, and Kline is still remembered as one of the great leaders of the Brethren in the United States. More info at http://www.johnklinehomestead.com/events.htm



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