My name is Richard Smith and I am a Graduate Student at George Mason University.  An aspiring historian, I am currently working on my Master’s with the hopes that upon graduation I will be able to being my pursuit of a PhD.  My areas of concentration lie in American History and are: The Early Republic, Jacksonian and antebellum America, early to mid-nineteenth century politics, territorial expansion and their disputes, the relationship between slavery and the Federal Government, republican ideology and its relation to the American Civil War.  I am an avid fan of the American Civil War and have completed internships at both Gettysburg National Military Park and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvainia National Military Park.

One of the things that I am really looking forward to as I work my way towards my Master’s is the graduate thesis.  Although I am not settled on a topic, I have begun to think about various topics.  The Missouri Compromise, from the perspective of a conflict in republican ideology and its relation to slavery, and the advent of the American Civil War, with the complex relationship between politics, republican ideology, slavery, and the political system itself are just two of the several ideas that I continue to ponder as I wind my way through the program.

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