York CWRT to discuss “Reconstruction After the Civil War” on August 19

"Lincoln and Johnson" by Joseph E. Baker - Library of Congress

“Lincoln and Johnson” by Joseph E. Baker – Library of Congress

The York Civil War Round Table will feature Dr. Philip J. Avillo at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, August 19, 2015. Continuing in the theme of the 150th commemoration of the Civil War, Dr. Avillo will present “Reconstruction After the Civil War, 1865-1877: A Struggle for Freedom.”

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the York County Heritage Trust at 250 E. Market Street, York, PA, 17403. The public is welcome; no reservations are required. The meeting is free, as is on-street parking.

Reconstruction after the Civil War is often overlooked, even more so often misunderstood. The term refers to the period following the Civil War of rebuilding the United States. Although the military conflict had ended, Reconstruction was in many ways still a war. Those who explore it will find a window into our own time and a greater understanding of the bloody war that preceded it.

This presentation will focus on the chronological history of Reconstruction and emphasizes the interpretive nature of history revealed by the timeline. Integral to the talk are discussions that highlight the post-emancipation struggle of the former slaves for freedom, the Congressional Republican policy designed to assist them in that struggle and reunite the nation, the determined southern resistance to that policy, the subsequent northern Republican abandonment of the freed blacks, and Reconstruction’s legacy.

Phil Avillo is Professor Emeritus at York College of Pennsylvania where he taught history from 1975 until his retirement in 2012. The courses he taught included “The Coming of the Civil War,””The Civil War and Reconstruction,” and “American Civilization: From the Colonial Period to the Present.” He introduced a number of other courses, including, “Women in the United States: A History,” “The United States and Vietnam,” and “Fiction, Film, and History.” Avillo who has published several articles that examine the role of Congress during the Civil War and Vietnam eras, received his PhD from the University of Arizona.

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