Spring 2013 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Edmunds, R Dave
Discipline and Number
HIST 6390 Section 001
W Time 4:00 PM - 6:45 PM
Course Title
Civil War & Reconstruction

Description of Course:

This course will survey the factors that led to the Civil War. These factors or causes will include slavery, the growth of sectionalism in the U.S., the nature of the anti-slavery movement, and the inablity of political institutions in the U.S. to facilitate any peaceful solution to the impending crisis of the late 1850's and 1860's. The course will focus upon social, economic, and political issues during this period, but also will examine the impact that individual politivcal leaders and their persponal beliefs and characteristics had upon these events.

This course also will examine the Civil War Years (1861-1865), and will focus upon the military strategies and military leadership of both the North and the South. While not an intensive course in military history, this course will discuss military campaigns, battles, and weapons that shaped the outcome of the military contest.

The course also will survey the post-war period and investigate how the various interest groups in the U.S. attempted to reshape American society in the years immediately following the conflict. Class discussion will focus on efforts by the North to force the South to conform to northern political and economic patterns, and how the South resisted such changes. Integral to such contests was the uncertain role of African-American people in the South during this period, which also will be analyzed during the course of the semester. Finally, the course will examine why the period of Reconstruction ended and how the U.S. turned from its focus on reform to a "business as usual" perspective after 1876.

Required Texts:

To be decided.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

This course will utilize a mixed format of lectures, assigned readings, class discussions,
oral presentations by students in class, and three short (5-8 pp.) "composite character" papers in which students will reconstruct the perspective of an actual historical figure, or a composite character to demonstrate their (the student's) insights and understanding of historical events discussed in class or the readings.

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