Multi-Day Seminars

Fall 2024 Multi-Day Schedule

Applications will be open April 8-30, 2024! Apply here today.

The Underground Railroad

Niagara Falls, NY | August 5-7, 2024

Few topics have captured our imaginations more than the Underground Railroad. Why did stories about secret codes, hiding places, and narrow escapes via a clandestine freedom network become more popular as the nation retreated from Reconstruction? How has recent scholarship complicated our understanding of the Underground Railroad? What can we learn from primary sources? When did the Civil War really commence? This seminar seeks to peel away mythology and gain greater knowledge of not only the Underground Railroad but also of the legacies of slavery and the abolition movement.


West Coast Immigration

Angel Island, CA | August 7-9, 2024

This seminar will focus on immigration to the West Coast of the United States from the mid-to-late 1800s to the present day. Using a mixture of primary source documents, memoirs, and short fiction, we will study topics such as Chinese immigration and exclusion, Japanese immigration and internment during World War II, refugees from Southeast Asia in the 1970s and 1980s, and Mexican-American immigration throughout the 20th century.


Eisenhower

Salina, KS | August 12-14, 2024

When Dwight D. Eisenhower became U.S. President at the height of the Cold War, he possessed vast experience in foreign affairs. Drawing on leadership skills developed during and after World War II, Eisenhower managed U.S. foreign policy with caution and skill. Determined to prevent the expansion of international and domestic Communism, Eisenhower also feared that Cold War tensions might lead to global catastrophe. Eisenhower attempted to protect American “blood and treasure,” while simultaneously projecting an image of strength and determination. Despite Eisenhower’s many successes, heavy reliance on U.S. nuclear forces, covert operations, alliance systems, and propaganda activities occasionally worked counter to U.S. interests and increased international instability.


Contested Elections: 1800, 1824, 1876, 1960 & 2000

Boston, MA | August 23-25, 2024

This timely seminar will focus on five of the most contentious presidential elections in American history. All of these elections witnessed a deeply divided nation deal with outcomes that were suspect in the eyes of many citizens. These bitter contests highlight the importance of norms and traditions for healthy republican government–norms that can only prevail if embraced by the contending candidates.


Manifest Destiny

Birmingham, AL | September 6-8, 2024

Description will be available soon!


Japanese Internment and the American Experience

Cody, WY | September 20-22, 2024

Japanese internment is often considered the darkest aspect of America’s involvement in World War II.  The study of what happened to the Japanese people living in the United States allows us to explore the most fundamental parts of the American experience.  Law, pluralism, immigration, citizenship, war, racism, and the history of the western United States all intersected in Cody, Wyoming.

This program will be conducted as a discussion, using primary sources as the only readings.  Professor Stephen Tootle will moderate the conversation.  Participants in the seminar are encouraged to read all of the documents in advance and to be ready with questions and thoughts.  Educators will receive a Letter of Attendance at the conclusion of the seminar.



The World Wars and the American State

Indianapolis, IN | September 20-22, 2024

The World Wars unleashed destruction on such a massive scale, and in such a short period of time, that the nation-states involved were all pressured to make extraordinary efforts to marshal the total resources at their disposal to survive and seek victory. The demands of  these total wars would fundamentally transform the American State, as the federal government, particularly the executive branch, took unprecedented powers to enlist millions of its citizens into the armed forces and to turn the United States’ immense industrial capacity into what Franklin Roosevelt called “the arsenal of democracy.”  This seminar will examine the effects that transformation had on the American state, on the constitutional balance between the branches of government and between the federal and state governments, and on the relationship of citizens to the state.


Ronald Reagan and the Cold War

Simi Valley, CA | September 27-29, 2024

After the election of 1980 few predicted that the Cold War would be over by the end of the decade. Quite the contrary, in fact: many foresaw the escalation of the U.S.-Soviet rivalry to new and dangerous levels. Using primary sources from the 1970s and 1980s, this seminar will take a broad look at U.S.-Soviet relations from the end of the Vietnam War to the breakup of the Soviet Union. What role did the Reagan administration play in bringing about an end to the Cold War? Is it fair to say that the United States “won”? How did the end of the Cold War transform the international system?


The American Founding

Valley Forge, PA | October 18-20, 2024

This seminar offers an overview of the principles of the American Founding and the documents that embody them, especially the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. These principles will be illuminated through a close study of the events of the American Revolution and the struggle over ratification of the Constitution.


Slavery

Natchitoches, LA | October 18-20, 2024

Description will be available soon!


Reconstruction

Natchez, MS | November 1-3, 2024

The era of Reconstruction is among the most consequential—but also misunderstood—periods of all American history. This seminar introduces participants to the purpose and implications of Reconstruction. It devotes particular attention to the ways in which Americans restored formally rebellious states into a federal republic; the definition and scope of constitutional liberty in the wake of emancipation; and the limitations of the federal state in enforcing civil rights. The seminar is not comprehensive. It does not delve into questions of labor reform, education, the American West, the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, or political corruption in the Ulysses S. Grant administration. Instead, the seminar asks two foundational questions: 1) How did Americans of diverse political persuasions understand the purposes and scope of Reconstruction? 2) To what extent did Reconstruction succeed in its primary purpose of preserving the Union and amending the Constitution to bolster a self-governing republic? Note: seminar participants who do not have a basic working knowledge of the narrative and/or major events of Reconstruction would do well to review brief but comprehensive Allen C. Guelzo, Reconstruction: A Concise History (2018).  


From Brown v. Board to Little Rock and Beyond: School Desegregation and the Civil Rights Movement

Little Rock, AR | November 8-10, 2024

The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Supreme Court ruling was a landmark decision, but the battle to enforce its directives was only beginning. The faceoff between state and federal priorities at Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957 demonstrated that the decision’s constitutional mandate would require the dedication and courage of ordinary heroes—young African Americans, their parents, and allies—all determined to equality of access to public education a reality for everyone. The Little Rock Nine succeeded in desegregating Central High, but is that the end of the story? In this seminar featuring a visit to the National Historic Site at Central High, we will use a variety of primary sources to learn about and discuss the legal campaign of the NAACP to put school segregation before the Supreme Court, the constitutional issues of the cases, the effort to enforce Brown in Little Rock, and the long, difficult effort to desegregate schools elsewhere in the United States after Little Rock.


Abraham Lincoln and the New Birth of Freedom

Springfield, IL | November 22-24, 2024

This seminar is an attempt to understand the political thought and statesmanship of Abraham Lincoln, especially as related to the Civil War and Reconstruction. It examines the history of the period and the political thought of Lincoln by reading and discussing a selection of his letters, speeches, and other writings, and considering them on their own as well as in the context of such documents as the Declaration of Independence and the political events of Lincoln’s day. Great emphasis will be placed on understanding how Lincoln approached the complex political and military problems of slavery and the Civil War – in short, on understanding his statesmanship.


Westward Expansion: Conflict, Conservation, and the Environment

Los Angeles, CA | December 6-8, 2024

The American west was both an alluring vision and a place of intense conflict. America was to be a new order of the ages; the west was where Americans would build it. As Americans streamed west, however, the same age-old conflicts over land, religion and ways of life recurred. Americans fought native Americans and among themselves over how best to live on the land and develop and protect its resources. The seminar will examine early visions of the west, the conflicts that arose there during the nineteenth century, and the rise of the conservation and environmental movements in the twentieth century. Along with primary documents, seminar participants will examine visual images, some from the nineteenth century Hudson River school of landscape painting, to explore the issues the seminar addresses.

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Learn more about MAHG and how you can be the expert teacher your students need. Admission is conducted on a rolling basis.