The year 1862 saw staggering losses for the Union Army, but it was also a busy year for
Congress. With southern legislators absent, Congress passed transformative legislation:
the Homestead Act, the Land-Grant University Act, the creation of a national currency,
the Department of Agriculture, the development of the Transcontinental Railroad, and
the Emancipation Act. The class examines why these initiatives had been opposed by
southern states, how they transformed the U.S., and their continuing importance today.
Katherine Kidd earned her PhD in international relations at the University of
Pennsylvania. She directed the programs in international studies at Sacred Heart and Fairfield Universities. While living and
working in Washington, DC, she rekindled her interest in American history building on her undergraduate degree in history.
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