Recap of the last post: I have decided to limit my Reconstruction exhibit to the years 1865 to 1868 to focus more on the political aspects of Congressional Reconstruction. I will provide extensive background information to immerse my viewers in Reconstruction. I am still deciding on which Supreme Court Cases to use within the context of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
I have completed my research into events leading up to the Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment through newspapers vis Chronicling America and Newsbank America’s Historical Newspapers as well as Congressional Globe Minutes and speeches by leading Radical Republicans. My next steps include physically uploading that information into my Omeka site I also want to try and experiment with mapping and whether that would be useful for my final project. I created an outline of my exhibit from start to finish. My next steps involve uploading more primary sources as well as additional work with Omeka Plugins for videos through youtube or Vimeo and maps.
The argument for my final project is that the Radical Republicans had to moderate their views as they attempted to pass the Fourteenth Amendment. My intellectual and practical justifications for my choices in creating the exhibit emerged out of personal curiosity. I had never taken a college-level class entirely devoted to studying the United States Reconstruction era apart from general survey courses. Therefore, my interest and historical knowledge are largely self-taught. I believe that the Radical Republicans were men ahead of their time. I am not endorsing the great men theory of history, simply put that I believe the general public needs to study the Reconstruction era more and realize how it influences their lives in the twenty-first century. I will evaluate my work through how does it engage the public and does it hold their attention to keep learning more about Reconstruction?
I envision my final project to be a snapshot of a larger project that traces Reconstruction history but for time constraints I will limit my exhibit from 1865 to 1868 and end with Johnso’s impeachment trial. I hope to use between 2-4 Supreme Court cases to show how the Fourteenth Amendment’s interpretation changed over time. This week and into next I will upload more primary sources, work more with Omeka plugins, and finalize my project layout.