993 Spring 2019 Descent to Civil War
Monday, 11:50–1:15, May 6
Instructor: Randy Ferryman
The current period of quarrelsome national discourse inspires discussions of a second American civil war. This presentation covers the strategic causes for America’s plunge into its devastating Civil War and the similarities and dissimilarities between then and now. The class will focus on the contentious 15 years prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, in April 1861. Northern resolve for union and free labor, Southern resolve for states’ rights and sovereignty and its way of life—tethered tightly to slavery—are key factors that will be discussed. The lecture will describe how the federal government attempted and eventually failed to politically reconcile these diverse interests, leaving both sides to resort to war to settle their claims and grievances.
Randy Ferryman is a retired CIA senior officer and currently a consultant in national security. During a 40-year career in intelligence, he has served in a number of analytical, staff, and managerial positions. Ferryman conducts tours of the Gettysburg battlefield for national security professionals, and has been a student of that battle for 24 years. A previous OLLI instructor, Ferryman has a BA in history from Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) and an MA in administration from the University of Maryland, University College. He is a member of the Bull Run Civil War Roundtable.