Has Interest in the Civil War Declined? (poll)

Has Interest in the Civil War Declined?

  • Yes, interest has declined

    Votes: 53 52.0%
  • No, interest has remained steady.

    Votes: 25 24.5%
  • No, interest has increased.

    Votes: 12 11.8%
  • Don't Know

    Votes: 12 11.8%

  • Total voters
    102

nitrofd

Retired User
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Location
north central florida
I feel it has as the younger people do not really know what a book is.all they are concerned with is high tech stuff.as us older people are moving the demand is no longer there.look at the Antigue market,items that would sell for $500.00 back in 2000 now sell for $100.00. They really do not even teach the Civil War in Schools anymore.
 

Southern Unionist

First Sergeant
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Location
NC
Public interest in any subject is constantly changing. In general, it tends to slowly decrease until something big pulls them back in, such as a significant anniversary or a big movie or a current event that is linked to a specific past event. Anybody remember the Revolutionary War frenzy around the American Bicentennial? I expect to see something similar when we approach 250 years. Current debates around Civil War monuments are driving a resurgence in CW interest right now. Whenever that issue gets resolved one way or the other, public interest will go back into slow but steady decline until the next big thing comes along.

I don't mean to be critical. There are so many subjects for a person to study, and only 24 hours in a day. Most of them have to be spent on mundane, daily stuff.
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2015
Location
Talladega, Alabama
I think it has, the schools today just skim over the war for the P.C. World we have today shuns the open talk of slavery. The other factor lies in so many that have grew up in the last twenty years or so have way more things that fill their time than sitting down and reading a book.
Today's younger generation has found other interest than history overall, be it, Civil War, both World Wars, Korea and Vietnam.
 

Robert Rutledge

Private
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Location
Maryland
I'm baffled by the talking point of "schools don't teach the Civil War any more". It always comes up in discussions in interest levels of the Civil War.

I am in my 20s and was taught it very thoroughly not too long ago, across multiple different years. We discussed slavery. One class we spent 2 class periods (about 3 hours) watching what the teacher considered the highlights of Ken Burn's Civil War documentary.

We discussed the Wilmot Proviso, the LeCompton Constitution, the Compromise of 1850. The Lincoln Douglas debates. We read primary source documents. Bleeding Kansas. I had a teacher who, instead of taking attendance, showed us a Political Cartoon of the Day. The political cartoon would be relevant to that day's class and we would write 3-5 sentences about what we thought it meant and that was how the teacher knew we were there that day. I remember the US Grant one where he was a trapeze artist. We discussed the caning of Charles Sumner.
I was taught King Cotton. I was taught about the original KKK.

In 5th Grade, we took a field trip to Gettysburg and viewed the Cyclorama and read a book about Andersonville (maybe Andersonville by MacKinley Kantor??? I remember being unsure whether the book was a novel or a memoir). We had a Civil War reenactor come in one day and kinda explain the stuff he had and what food was like. My teacher brought in hard tack for the class to eat and the reenactor turned down a piece.

I was taught the Civil War, granted it was stretched over years, but that's not any different from Shakespeare. If you wanted to learn it, you could.


And remember, the people on this website are weirdos. The Civil War is a niche interest. Is it surprising virtually no 20 year olds have read Shelby Foote? Go to Walmart or a Carnival or anywhere there are large numbers of people are gathered. Spend a moment and think about exactly how many of those people have ever read a non-fiction book about the Civil War. Many of these people will be in their 40s and 50s and never read any scholarly work about the CW.
Just try to imagine how many have ever watched a movie about the Civil War.
Watching Gods and Generals is the closest thing a lot of normal folks have come to reading a textbook about the Civil War.
 

GS

Retired User
Joined
Jan 31, 2017
I voted for "increased", due to the media attention given those wishing to remove Confederate monuments/history. My upcoming book, Trapped in the Crossfire, has created much more of a stir than I ever imagined a Civil War story could, given the fact we are 150+ years post War.
 

photoman475

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Location
Fargo, ND
Neither one of my kids had much education on the Civil War in their grade school years. Good thing for them their father has resolved that problem for them. Come to think of it, none of the colleges they went to had a class about the Civil War either. I did, but it would have been hard for Illinois State to not have a class in it, as the 33rd Illinois started on that campus.
 

huskerblitz

Major
Joined
Jun 8, 2013
Location
Nebraska
I think it has, the schools today just skim over the war for the P.C. World we have today shuns the open talk of slavery. The other factor lies in so many that have grew up in the last twenty years or so have way more things that fill their time than sitting down and reading a book.
Today's younger generation has found other interest than history overall, be it, Civil War, both World Wars, Korea and Vietnam.
You living in the same country as I am? Open talk of slavery seems to be very much alive and well. And the comment on schools is wrong. Yes, most would use the word 'skim' but not because of some PC World or whatever. It's more about time and covering other areas. Guess what...there are those that think a good bit of time should be spent on the Revolution Era and not just the CW. If you want to know what your local district is teaching about the CW I would invite you to look at your state's standards or request to view the local curriculum.

Neither one of my kids had much education on the Civil War in their grade school years. Good thing for them their father has resolved that problem for them. Come to think of it, none of the colleges they went to had a class about the Civil War either. I did, but it would have been hard for Illinois State to not have a class in it, as the 33rd Illinois started on that campus.
In grade school, perhaps. A good look at American History doesn't begin really until middle school, at least here anyway.
 
Joined
May 1, 2015
Location
Upstate N.Y.
I believe it has declined in today's world. History in general appears to no longer be a subject that schools focus upon. Sure some teachers and schools still do a good job, but most people today could care less. Watch any show where they question people on the street and the responses are beyond shocking . Not knowing the name of some Roman or Greek gladiator or what a country was named 150 years ago is understandable unless you had a particular interest in that area. To much interest is in things like Game of Thrones or other such things. There is nothing wrong with those things as long as they are put into perspective. Even current history is so skewed that one has to pay close attention to sort out the truth. OK I'll get off my soapbox.
 
Joined
May 1, 2015
Location
Upstate N.Y.
You living in the same country as I am? Open talk of slavery seems to be very much alive and well. And the comment on schools is wrong. Yes, most would use the word 'skim' but not because of some PC World or whatever. It's more about time and covering other areas. Guess what...there are those that think a good bit of time should be spent on the Revolution Era and not just the CW. If you want to know what your local district is teaching about the CW I would invite you to look at your state's standards or request to view the local curriculum.


In grade school, perhaps. A good look at American History doesn't begin really until middle school, at least here anyway.
In this case I applaud Nebraska education system. Yes, there are a lot more subject matter to cover today as opposed to 100 years ago. Regarding time management, the school day today is much shorter then when I grew up. A full eight hours of subject matter without study halls. What is the hours of a average school day today?
 

huskerblitz

Major
Joined
Jun 8, 2013
Location
Nebraska
In this case I applaud Nebraska education system. Yes, there are a lot more subject matter to cover today as opposed to 100 years ago. Regarding time management, the school day today is much shorter then when I grew up. A full eight hours of subject matter without study halls. What is the hours of a average school day today?
I don't know what would constitute an average across the country. Nebraska is required to have 185 days of classes in a school year. My district has 8-periods that are 50-minutes in length. Whether or not the students have a study hall is determined by their class schedule (if they are in band or not, etc.). We start at 8:10 and end at 3:25. But you go down the road to the next town and the day will be a tad different. Other states would be different yet.
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2015
Location
Talladega, Alabama
I still hold to the thought that the only way slavery is brought up today is for today's news, not 150 years ago. I read almost on a daily bases where someone thinks this or that is just like the days of old being held as slaves. The P.C. World has gone astray from does this really offend me to everything offends me.
Muti million dollar sport figures spout off everyday that they are treated like slaves, but they make millions and millions of dollars being one and they accepted their status for which they claim they are slaves.
Slavery is used as flippant as any word around. Any and all slaves would trade their slavery of 150+ years ago to the one claiming their slaves today.
 
Joined
May 1, 2015
Location
Upstate N.Y.
I don't know what would constitute an average across the country. Nebraska is required to have 185 days of classes in a school year. My district has 8-periods that are 50-minutes in length. Whether or not the students have a study hall is determined by their class schedule (if they are in band or not, etc.). We start at 8:10 and end at 3:25. But you go down the road to the next town and the day will be a tad different. Other states would be different yet.
Thank you. I think a item that we both seem to be overlooking is not in education. That item, IMHO is a lack of strong Patriotism for America. I don't mean this for all people today.
 

truthckr

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 1, 2010
Location
Waynesboro, Virginia
I believe it has declined over the years. My generation, born in the 50's, experienced the centennial of the ACW. I remember my grand parents going to several events celebrating the centennial. As others have stated it's hard to get the latest generation away from their phones/tablets long enough to visit battlefields. Schools may teach the ACW but interest is just not present.
I recently watched a news cast where college age people were questioned about WWI, they knew very little about that war.
 
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huskerblitz

Major
Joined
Jun 8, 2013
Location
Nebraska
I still hold to the thought that the only way slavery is brought up today is for today's news, not 150 years ago. I read almost on a daily bases where someone thinks this or that is just like the days of old being held as slaves. The P.C. World has gone astray from does this really offend me to everything offends me.
Muti million dollar sport figures spout off everyday that they are treated like slaves, but they make millions and millions of dollars being one and they accepted their status for which they claim they are slaves.
Slavery is used as flippant as any word around. Any and all slaves would trade their slavery of 150+ years ago to the one claiming their slaves today.
Not quite following but that's okay.

Thank you. I think a item that we both seem to be overlooking is not in education. That item, IMHO is a lack of strong Patriotism for America. I don't mean this for all people today.
Depends on one's outlook. I don't 'teach' patriotism. I don't care how one slices it, that's indoctrination to do so. It is much better for people to develop patriotism from a grassroots, personal level where that feeling will remain with the individual and not some rhetoric. Same reason I'm not big on the Pledge of Allegiance. The kids stand every day and recite it every day. They do it by rote. And it becomes automatic and there is no meaning to it.

But on another note, I did recently see a national survey that said only 75% of Americans believe they live in a 'free' society. and half of the population no longer believe in the American dream. Something to think about.
 

Dusty

Corporal
Joined
Jun 22, 2017
Location
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
Mine has only increased since I moved to Chambersburg, Pa. four years ago. I had a mild interest in it for the years that I lived in eastern Pennsylvania in the Lehigh Valley and bought some books about the war. I have a lot to learn. But, since my recent visit to the Antietam National Battlefield, the book by Stephen Sears on the battle, has a lot more meaning for me. And, as has been said here before, "you can't get enough of Gettysburg."
 
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