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The History of Democratic Failures: How Political Extremes Succeed When Democracy Fails

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Session Details

February 23, 2022 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm EST

This session will discuss how amid the chaos of a declining democracy, radical political groups both left and right use the resulting environment to attain power in government, as well as how this phenomenon is visible through historical literature. Discussion will begin with the abolitionist movement and backlash against it in the U.S. leading up to and during the American Civil War. Various political figures that rose to national and international prominence during the turbulent time of the Great Depression will also be discussed, including President Franklin Roosevelt, Senator Huey P. Long of Louisiana, Father Charles Coughlin, General Douglas Macarthur, and Adolf Hitler. The discussion will then turn to how the current state of polarization came about, and possible solutions to prevent further attacks on Democracy as seen on January 6th, 2021.

This session includes students Ian Anderson, History and Political Science; Nickolas Bartel, Public Policy; Michael Toland, History; and Cole Leathers, Student Government Association President; as well as Jennifer Harding, Ph.D., W&J Professor of English.

Location: Howard J. Burnett Center, Room 203


February 23, 2022
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
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Washington & Jefferson College
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