A New History of the American South [TTC Video]

A New History of the American South [TTC Video]
A New History of the American South [TTC Video] by Professor Edward L Ayers, PhD
Course No. 8388 | MP4, AVC, 13703 kbps, 960x540 | AAC, 1280 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 6.89GB

The American South holds a special place in the minds of people around the world. The South’s extraordinarily colorful and dramatic history, its competing narratives of prosperity and cruelty, its role in the American Civil War, and its influence on the emerging conception of human rights are, for many, the stuff of legend.

Yet, misconceptions and incomplete information abound about the South, concerning not only its origins and development, but also its interconnections with the Northern states, its place in the larger scope of world history, and its repercussions for our own era.

To know the history of the American South, within its own context, is to come to terms with one of modern history’s most astonishing, polarizing, and illuminating stories:

  • Within just a few decades after the American Revolution, the South grew into a major force in the world economy, as the largest and most powerful slave-based society of the modern world;
  • The political, philosophical, and moral conflicts that surrounded the South’s vast prosperity triggered a war of global consequence;
  • The South’s tumultuous remaking following the Civil War witnessed both the boldest experiment in expanding democracy and the largest political revolt in American history; and
  • The Southern experience of defeat and regeneration resulted in a globe-spanning legacy of cultural, religious, and artistic expression.

In the 24 lectures of A New History of the American South, taught by an award-winning professor, Edward L. Ayers of the University of Richmond, you’ll delve into these remarkable stories, and many more, exploring in detail the rise and the fall of the slave South, and examining the full scope of a historical epoch that still profoundly influences life in the United States today.

Rediscover the American South

In these eye-opening lectures, you’ll track the historical forces that created the Southern U.S. colonies, how the colonies’ political and economic structures became conducive to the importation of slavery, and how, within the new American nation, the South became one of the most powerful exponents of the Atlantic slave trade.

You’ll trace the growth and evolution of the South, as its archaic system of slavery fused with the trappings of modernity to create a society that was one of the most prosperous and politically democratic in the world—for some—yet home to one of the cruelest forms of oppression for others.

In the flush of its prosperity, you’ll witness the South gamble everything on a bid to create its own nation, leading to devastating war, and the profound changes of emancipation and Reconstruction, events that transformed the South in ways that could never have been foreseen.

And, you’ll study the new society that rose from the ashes of the slave South, a society fraught with violent divisions over what the New South would be, and presenting new and crippling challenges to emancipated African Americans, as well as giving birth to some of America’s most enduring contributions to world culture, such as jazz, blues, country, and gospel music; Pentecostal religion; and the writings of Mark Twain and W.E.B. DuBois.

Enjoy Teaching of Rare Understanding and Insight

A distinguished scholar of the American South and of 19th-century American history, Professor Ayers is unusually well qualified to tell this story. A native of the South who has resided and studied in the North, Professor Ayers distills the narrative with nuanced insight into the ethos and the actions of both.

As an ongoing thread of the course, Professor Ayers uncovers the mindset of the advocates of slavery and segregation, and how the practices were rationalized and justified in terms encompassing the economic, theological, secular, political, and cultural. Along the way, his commentary highlights the factors of anti-slavery and anti-secession sentiment in the South, as well as the varieties of complicity in slavery in the North. The result is a revelatory look at Southern history, and at the critical events and historical currents that made the South what it is today.

Travel Deeply into a Seminal Era

In assessing the story of the South, you’ll focus on the period from the founding of the Southern colonies to the beginning of the 20th century, highlighting essential topics such as:

  • The Atlantic Slave Trade: Discover how the Atlantic slave trade, initiated by the Portuguese with the sanction of the Pope, was facilitated by African social systems in which both goods and human beings were items of exchange; learn about the mechanics of the slave trade, and how unimaginable wealth was created in the slave economies of the Caribbean;
  • The Forging of the Slave South: Follow the settling of the Southern colonies, and the economic conditions within Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia that made slavery a profitable business model; see how the slave economy expanded following the American Revolution, and how wars against both Native Americans and escaped slaves created solidarity among white Southerners;
  • Southern Prosperity and Culture: Witness the creation of the large-scale cotton economy that emblemized the South, and the remarkable wealth and lifestyles of plantation owners; learn how the enslaved lived and worked, the diversity of slaves’ occupations on plantations and within cities, and the ways in which slaves rebelled against a dehumanizing system;
  • Breakdown of the Union: Examine the events that marked the disintegrating relations between North and South, from the emancipation of the Northern states and the rise of antislavery and abolition movements to the heated struggles over slavery within Missouri, Kansas, and former Mexican lands, and the divisive presidential election of 1860;
  • Emancipation and the Experiment of Reconstruction: Learn how African Americans responded to emancipation in their quest for fundamental rights; relive the era of Reconstruction, and the bitter conflict between the North’s efforts to remake the South and white Southerners’ actions to reassert the power they held before the war; and
  • Segregation and the New South: Observe how political and legal means were employed across the postwar South to separate the races and maintain white supremacy; study the variety of social restrictions and violence that characterized African American life following Reconstruction; and learn how modern agriculture and industry transformed life in the New South.

Gain a Discerning Perspective on History

Professor Ayers brings to these lectures the same compelling style as a speaker that has made him a nationally recognized co-host of the history podcast BackStory. Throughout the course, he adds layers of revealing context and detail that aid in comprehending the extraordinary saga of the South.

In tracing the complexities of North/South relations, he reveals that Thomas Jefferson’s first draft of the Declaration of Independence vigorously denounced slavery, and that the Congress of the new nation both gave substantial concessions to slaveholders and worked to limit slavery’s geographical scope.

As the course progresses, you’ll explore the vital role of religious faith in Southern culture, learning how evangelical Christianity offered disparate benefits for black and white Southerners, and later became a major social force within the New South. And, within the landscape of the New South, you’ll follow the process by which Southern musical culture, encompassing genres such as blues, jazz, gospel, and country music, became a globally impactful form of expression.

In A New History of the American South, you’ll take a richly detailed excursion into the story and the enduring legacy of the South, in a historical inquiry unique in its scope. No book and no other course brings together the development of the slave South, the wartime South, the reconstructed South, and the New South as Professor Ayers does in these enthralling and incisive lectures. In Professor Ayers’s words, “We cannot understand the United States if we do not understand the South, which has played such an outsized role in the history of our country.”

A New History of the American South [TTC Video]

The Great Tours: Washington DC [TTC Video]

The Great Tours: Washington DC [TTC Video]
The Great Tours: Washington DC [TTC Video] by Professor Richard Kurin, PhD
Course No 8609 | MP4, AVC, 2500 kbps, 1280x720 | AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 18.73GB

As a political epicenter, Washington DC is a major national and international crossroads, attracting visitors from all corners of the Earth and being featured in the global news on a daily basis. But beyond the glamour and glare of high-profile politics, it is a city on par with some of the greatest in the world, brimming over with remarkable history and culture, and offering a multitude of unforgettable sights and experiences.

Throughout this intriguing city, you’ll find some of the world’s most beautiful and extraordinary national monuments—of which the iconic Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial are only the beginning. You’ll also find some of the world’s finest museums of history, science, and art, from the phenomenal Smithsonian museums to the National Gallery of Art, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, and more. You will experience masterpieces of civic architecture such as the National Mall and the Library of Congress, as well as monumental government facilities, from the U.S. Capitol to the State and Treasury Departments. Along the way, you will also encounter beautifully landscaped parks and gardens; a wealth of extraordinary historic homes; a rich and varied performing arts, entertainment, and culinary scene; and innumerable lesser-known focal points to surprise and delight.

Now, in The Great Tours: Washington DC, The Great Courses partners once again with the Smithsonian, the nation’s premier repository of U.S. history and world culture, to bring you a deep and multi-faceted look at this amazing city.

With this course, you will get to know Washington DC and the spectrum of treasures it contains. Your in-depth experience will allow you to better appreciate:

  • A one-of-a-kind urban environment containing stunning public buildings, works, and spaces;
  • The American people’s historical efforts to embody the U.S. Constitution and our founder’s ideals;
  • A thoroughly remarkable window into modern history;
  • The history, the workings, and the dimensions of our government in action; and
  • A vibrant, cosmopolitan city that resonates with people from all nations and cultures, as well as an intimately livable city that 700,000 people call home, and 5 million in the Metro region regularly enjoy.

Discover Washington DC through the Expertise of the Smithsonian

This exciting 24-part travelogue—lavishly illustrated with thousands of historic images, animated maps, and substantial location footage—rests on the vast historical and administrative resources of the Smithsonian, and on the brilliant and engaging commentary of Dr. Richard Kurin, Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar and Ambassador-at-Large. Dr. Kurin brings both his 40 years of experience at the Smithsonian—overseeing most of the institution’s national museums, libraries, and archives—and his own decades of exploration of his beloved home city to these content-rich videos.

In this unique, insider’s tour of Washington, Dr. Kurin leads you on a dazzling journey through the many layers of history and human endeavor that created DC’s extraordinary urban environment. Along the way, he takes you beyond the most visible and well-known sites to uncover hidden gems that visitors usually don’t know about, offering fascinating perspectives on DC’s history, from the 18th-century origins of the District of Columbia to the 21st-century city we know today. Throughout the course, lectures are arranged by site and activity, making it easy to go directly to specific subject matter or special interests.

Dr. Kurin rounds out your view of DC with a series of special interviews with expert guests interspersed throughout the lectures, drawing on his remarkable resources and contacts developed over a four-decade-long career. Among others, you’ll get special insight into the meaning of military memorials from General Colin Powell himself, look into the Kennedy Center and arts in Washington with renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma, and explore the relationship of food and American history with celebrated chef José Andrés.

Legendary Sights and Hidden Treasures

In a comprehensive view of the city and its history, you’ll delve into the incredible range of Washington’s riches, including:

  • Landmarks and Departments of the U.S. Government. Make a detailed visit to the White House, taking account of its construction, rebuilding, and dramatic history. Take in the architectural magnificence of the U.S. Capitol building, and visit its legislative chambers. Dig into the history, lore, and imposing facilities of the Supreme Court; the spectacular Library of Congress; the departments of State, Treasury, and Justice; and the unmissable National Archives;
  • Majestic Monuments and Memorials. Among DC’s most revered sights, visit and study the background of the great presidential memorials to Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Explore the National Mall’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and its particular significance, and contemplate the meanings of the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the extraordinary memorials at Arlington National Cemetery;
  • A Spectrum of World-Class Museums. Within the city’s astounding wealth of museums, learn about the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History, and National Museum of African American History and Culture, among others. Explore the artistic splendors of the National Portrait Gallery; The Phillips Collection; and the Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens; and sample the wonders of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park;
  • Lesser-Known Historic Gems. Discover a range of extraordinary sites overlooked even by many locals. Among these, visit the historic mansion of General Robert E. Lee, uncover the history of Abraham Lincoln’s “summer White House,” study the life and work of abolitionist Frederick Douglass at his preserved home, learn about presidential connections with the historic Willard Hotel, and visit locations associated with humanitarian and Red Cross founder Clara Barton.
  • Storied Neighborhoods and Homes. Venture beyond the famous sights to explore DC’s colorful and elegant neighborhoods: Savor the architecture and cultural richness of Embassy Row; the revitalized DC waterfront; and the neighborhoods of Dupont Circle, historic Georgetown, and nearby Alexandria, Virginia. Get to know George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and other grand mansions, plantations, and humble homes that memorably reveal the city’s history.

Experience the Numerous Facets of This Living City

In the course’s second half, Dr. Kurin takes the tour far beyond politics and history, to give you a vivid view of contemporary Washington and its wide range of appealing activities, events, and lifestyle choices. Within these, you’ll explore DC’s:

  • Arts and Entertainment Scene:Review the huge diversity of Washington’s performing arts offerings, spanning the multi-venue Kennedy Center; a plethora of distinguished live theater and dance; and seemingly countless music venues offering live performances of popular, classical, and world music.
  • Dining and Food Culture: Learn about DC’s traditional food culture, historic restaurants, contemporary fine-dining options, food festivals, and wide array of world cuisines.
  • Sports:Investigate the lore of DC’s sports teams, past and present, and find out where to see (and play) sports from baseball, football, and basketball to imports such as rugby, Gaelic football, and cricket.
  • Outdoor Activities:Discover DC’s many nature sites, and note Dr. Kurin’s suggestions for where to enjoy beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife, and outdoor pursuits from hiking and boating to nature and heritage sites.

In these visually sumptuous lectures, Dr. Kurin and the Smithsonian profile the diversity and the many layers of Washington DC—as a beloved national symbol; a vital seat of government; and a living, thriving metropolis. Whether you’re planning your own visit to Washington or would simply like to explore the nation’s capital from where you are, The Great Tours: Washington DC offers you a detailed, insider’s view of one of the world’s most exciting and culturally rich cities.

The Great Tours: Washington DC [TTC Video]

Mastering Linear Algebra: An Introduction with Applications [TTC Video]

Mastering Linear Algebra: An Introduction with Applications [TTC Video]
Mastering Linear Algebra: An Introduction with Applications [TTC Video] by Francis Su, PhD
Course No 1056 | MP4, AVC, 2000 kbps, 1280x720 | AAC, 192 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 11.2GB

Linear algebra may well be the most accessible of all routes into higher mathematics. It requires little more than a foundation in algebra and geometry, yet it supplies powerful tools for solving problems in subjects as diverse as computer science and chemistry, business and biology, engineering and economics, and physics and statistics, to name just a few. Furthermore, linear algebra is the gateway to almost any advanced mathematics course. Calculus, abstract algebra, real analysis, topology, number theory, and many other fields make extensive use of the central concepts of linear algebra: vector spaces and linear transformations.

Mastering Linear Algebra: An Introduction with Applications is the ideal starting point for this influential branch of mathematics, surveying the traditional topics of a first-semester college course in linear algebra through 24 rigorous half-hour lectures taught by Professor Francis Su of Harvey Mudd College. A multi-award-winning math educator, Professor Su was named “the mathematician who will make you fall in love with numbers” by WIRED magazine.

Linear algebra provides insights into complex phenomena that are part of our daily lives, making them less mysterious and showing the astonishing reach of mathematics in areas such as:

  • Computer Graphics: The field of 3-D computer graphics exists because of linear algebra, which transforms shapes in 3-dimensional space by matrix multiplication.
  • GPS: A Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) receiver, such as a smartphone, determines its position based on time signals from several satellites. Linear algebra shows how to take this seemingly complicated problem and make it accessible.
  • Search Engines: The ability to find information quickly on the internet is a key feature of modern life, and it’s made possible by linear algebra, which keeps track of which nodes on a network are linked, and highlights structures that enable the ranking of important web pages.
  • Recommender Systems: Most of us have experienced websites that seem to know more about our tastes than our own family members. The ability of linear algebra to reveal hidden structures lies behind many of these recommender systems.

Indeed, linear algebra has become so central to our modern data-driven world that more and more educators believe the subject should be introduced earlier in the mathematics curriculum. Linear algebra has spawned truly subtle and sophisticated problem-solving strategies that are favored by specialists, but the underlying concepts are relatively simple and within reach of anyone with a firm grasp of algebra and some analytic geometry. (A background in calculus is helpful, but not required.)

In Mastering Linear Algebra, Professor Su puts a premium on visualizing both the results and the reasoning behind important ideas in linear algebra, giving a geometric picture of how to understand matrices and linear equations. Focusing on a wide range of interesting applications, he works through problems step by step, introducing key ideas along the way, starting with:

  • Vectors and vector spaces,
  • Dot products and cross products,
  • Matrix operations, and
  • Linear transformations and systems of linear equations.

Armed with these essential concepts, you dig deeper into properties and problem-solving strategies involving:

  • Bases and determinants,
  • Eigenvectors and eigenvalues,
  • Orthogonality,
  • Markov chains, and much more.

What Is Linear Algebra?

While the term “linear algebra” may evoke a stark image of straight lines and the manipulation of symbols, the subject is far more elegant than that. The “linear” part refers to linear systems of equations and their geometric manifestations as planes or hyperplanes. In such equations, polynomials with exponents and other nonlinear terms are not present. This makes dealing with equations pleasingly straightforward.

Vectors enter the picture because the linear equations can be viewed as a transformation of one vector into another. And the matrices are arrays of numbers that are the coefficients of these linear equations. The “algebra” part of linear algebra is simply the rules for performing operations on the vectors and matrices. From these basic ideas, a vibrant mathematical universe emerges—a rich interplay between algebra and geometry, between computation and visualization, between the concrete and the abstract, and between utility and beauty.

In the very beginning, Professor Su introduces four themes that you encounter throughout the course:

  • Linearity is a fundamental idea in mathematics and in the world. The idea of linearity arises everywhere—from adapting a recipe to calculating the age of the universe. In linear algebra, this property is embodied by linear transformations, which are functions that change one vector in a vector space into another.
  • To understand nonlinear things, we approximate them by linear things. Many phenomena are nonlinear (think of the motion of planets around the sun), but at small scales they are approximately linear. This idea is the heart of calculus, which uses ideas from linear algebra to approximate nonlinear functions by linear ones.
  • Linear algebra reveals hidden structures that are beautiful and useful. Much of what linear algebra does is uncover hidden structures that give insight into what is really going on in a problem, allowing it to be solved with surprising ease. Seeing these unexpected connections and shortcuts can be an aesthetic experience.
  • Linear algebra’s power often comes from the interplay between geometry and algebra. The effectiveness of linear algebra is due in large part to the way problems can be envisioned in both geometric and algebraic terms. The geometric picture feeds intuition about what a solution might look like, while the algebraic tools show the way to an answer.

Big Data, Tamed

Anyone excited about diving into the vast sea of data made possible by the internet and today’s nearly limitless computing power should definitely study linear algebra. Professor Su covers the math behind several techniques that both tame and exploit big data. Early on, he spotlights the problem of error detection, which is used to identify and correct corrupted computer bits. Then later, he zeroes in on the tricks used to encode data as efficiently as possible—in this case, the JPEG image-compression algorithm. In a look at singular value decomposition, he presents another method of data compression. And, Professor Su considers the challenges of search engines and speech recognition programs, explaining how Markov chains model the probability of what to expect given the current state of a system.

Mastering Linear Algebra also briefly introduces you to quantum mechanics, the notoriously baffling theory of subatomic particles. Since quantum theory is written in the language of vectors and matrices, you need linear algebra to understand it. Professor Su provides a taste of that understanding by showing how the apparently paradoxical superposition of states—in which quantum entities can be in two states at the same time—makes perfect sense when you think of it in terms of linear algebra (specifically, as a linear combination of states in a vector space). You learn this fascinating lesson in Lecture 3—by which point you will already be looking at the world in a whole new way.

Mastering Linear Algebra: An Introduction with Applications [TTC Video]

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