Why did democratic governance in 1861 break down to the point where the country split in two? Was civil war inevitable or avoidable? These are some of the questions that will be discussed at a Nov. 12 event sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Greenwich, together with the Greenwich Historical Society and the Greenwich High School Social Studies Department.
The discussion will be based on the case titled “A Nation Divided” in Harvard Professor David Moss’s recent book, Democracy: A Case Study. The book applies the Harvard case study teaching method to nineteen pivotal episodes in American political history, from the drafting of the Constitution to the recent Citizens United Supreme Court decision.
On Nov. 12, participants will have an opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of Abraham Lincoln at a key decision point in the spring of 1861. They will read the short case in advance and take part in an illuminating learning experience, led by three teachers who trained in the case method under Professor Moss at Harvard Business School: Mike Galatioto, Aaron Hull and Joe Baske. Together, the group will discuss and debate what they might have done after the secession of South Carolina had they been in Lincoln’s position. Both adults and high school students will be participating in the event in equal numbers.
While nearly 400 high schools around the country are now integrating Professor Moss’ cases into their civics and history curricula, the Greenwich League has worked to engage 50 other League chapters in 21 states to host their own community case discussions in 2020. The ultimate goal is to encourage voters around the US to recommit themselves to the process of informed and reasoned debate, something League members see as the cornerstone of a well-functioning democracy.
The event is being held at Greenwich High School in Room 900 on Tuesday, Nov. 12 starting at 6:30 p.m. Although admission is free, space is limited and early registration for non-school participants is required at League.RSVP@gmail.com
If you are a student or teacher at one of the participating schools, you need to register directly with your school liaisons. Any questions can be directed to the League at League.RSVP@gmail.com