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Charleston, SC 29409
phone: 843-953-5012
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The early years

Marching Through Time:
The Citadel 1842-2006

How Much is Still Relevant?
The Citadel and American Military Traditions in the 19th Century

Rod Andrew Jr.
Associate Professor of History,
Clemson University

Rod Andrew Jr. describes The Citadel’s place in a southern military school tradition in the nineteenth century. While noting that military schools like The Citadel are sometimes seen today as quaint anachronisms, Andrew claims that their origin in the mid-nineteenth century actually represented an enlightened innovation in American higher education.

Rod Andrew Jr.

In the decades preceding the Civil War, a wave of military education swept the nation, resulting in roughly a hundred military academies and state-supported military colleges in the South and fifteen in the free states. Their founders and supporters hoped to train young men mainly for civilian professions, not to train a professional officer class. They believed that military training imparted the moral and civic virtues to future citizens that were vital for the health of the Republic; replaced aristocracy with meritocracy on campus; and provided poorer youths with the opportunity for an education.

Later the South’s military schools were mobilized in the defense of secession and slavery. Andrew reflects on what these legacies might mean for The Citadel today.

Rod Andrew Jr. is the author of Long Gray Lines: The Southern Military School Tradition and of a forthcoming biography of South Carolina’s Wade Hampton.

» The early years
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