History | The American Civil War
A300 | 0397 | Stowe


The Civil War was a conflict that challenged the very existence of
the United States and was the turning point of an entire era.  The
war marked the end of slavery, the beginnings of a new nationalism,
the advent of new kinds of warfare, and the redefinition of the
meaning of our history.  And it has remained alive in the
imaginations of many Americans.

Beginning with social and political factors underlying the conflict,
this course will cover the war as an event with far-reaching social
and cultural consequences for nationhood, citizenship, race
relations, and national / regional identity.  Lectures and readings
will include material on the battlefield experience, political
change, homefronts North and South, and on the lives of ordinary
Americans who experienced the war.

Requirements and evaluation

The required readings for the course are:

James McPherson, Ordeal by Fire, (textbook, parts I & II)
A300 course reading packet of primary sources
Phoebe Pember, A Southern Woman’s Story
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Army Life in a Black Regiment

Your work will be distributed as follows:
Small-group work / in-class writing: 25% of final grade
Final essay (6 to 8 pages):  35%
Two exams: 20% each