The Capitol Dome--regular editions

Summer 2015

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A NEWSLETTER PUBLISHED BY THE UNITED STATES CAPITOL HISTORICAL SOCIETY VOLUME 53, NUMBER 2 SUMMER 2015 T HE C APITOL D OME Member Tours Page 4 Marketplace Page 8 Third Annual Trustee Breakfast Page 5 Spring Symposium Focuses on Aftermath of Civil War O n May 7 and 8, 2015, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society held its annual sympo- sium on the history of Congress. This year's entry in the series The National Capital in a Nation Divided: Congress and the District of Columbia Confront Sectionalism and Slavery, "Aftermath: The Consequences of the Civil War and Congress and the Federal Govern- ment," brought scholars from across the coun- try to examine different aspects of the end of the Civil War and some of its long-lasting effects. William Nelson (New York University School of Law) launched the symposium Thursday night with his reflections on "The Fourteenth Amendment and the End of Popular Constitutionalism." Prior to the Thirteenth Amendment (ending slavery), constitutional amendments continued the British Common Law approach by simply encoding existing practices and expectations. The Fourteenth Amendment, by continuing and expanding the use of the written Constitution to change the mores of the day, marked a sea-change in the concept of the Constitution from being the common agreement of the people, to a force for progress by the victors of the reunited nation. Friday morning, Adam Goodheart (Washington College) opened the session with "Amid the Ruins," an evocative description of how the Civil War ended for the birthplace of secessionism. Charles- ton, SC was a shell of its former opulence and ideological zeal on April 14, 1865, when represen- tatives of the victorious North participated in cer- emonies marking the city's formal pacification, ignorant of Lincoln's assassination the same day. Lorien Foote (Texas A&M University) fol- lowed with "Federal Prisoners of War and the Long Recovery," which highlighted the mis- guided logistics of a major prisoner exchange to illustrate the experience of Union POWs during the war. Their "long" repatriation was crippled by Congress's reluctance to compensate veter- ans for the unique physical and psychological Don Kennon, USCHS VP of Education and Outreach, welcomed symposium attendees to the last history event before his retirement. William Nelson

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