The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877

Yale Course , Spring 2008 , Prof. David Blight

116 students enrolled

Overview

Introductions: Why Does the Civil War Era Have a Hold on American Historical - Southern Society: Slavery, King Cotton, and Antebellum America's - A Southern World View: The Old South and Proslavery Ideology - A Northern World View: Yankee Society, Antislavery Ideology and the Abolition Movement - Telling a Free Story: Fugitive Slaves and the Underground Railroad in Myth and Reality - Expansion and Slavery: Legacies of the Mexican War and the Compromise of 1850 - "A Hell of a Storm": The Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Birth of the Republican Party, 1854-55 - Dred Scott, Bleeding Kansas, and the Impending Crisis of the Union, 1855-58 - John Brown's Holy War: Terrorist or Heroic Revolutionary? - The Election of 1860 and the Secession Crisis - Slavery and State Rights, Economies and Ways of Life: What Caused the Civil War? - "And the War Came," 1861: The Sumter Crisis, Comparative Strategies - Terrible Swift Sword: The Period of Confederate Ascendency, 1861-1862 - Never Call Retreat: Military and Political Turning Points in 1863 - Lincoln, Leadership, and Race: Emancipation as Policy - Days of Jubilee: The Meanings of Emancipation and Total War - Homefronts and Battlefronts: - "War So Terrible": Why the Union Won and the Confederacy Lost at Home and Abroad - To Appomattox and Beyond: The End of the War and a Search for Meanings - Wartime Reconstruction: Imagining the Aftermath and a Second American Republic - Andrew Johnson and the Radicals: A Contest over the Meaning of Reconstruction - Constitutional Crisis and Impeachment of a President - Black Reconstruction in the South: The Freedpeople and the Economics of Land and Labor - Retreat from Reconstruction: The Grant Era and Paths to The "End" of Reconstruction: Disputed Election of 1876, and the "Compromise of 1877" - Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory - Legacies of the Civil War

Lecture 1: Introductions Why Does the Civil War Era Have a Hold on American Historical

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        Lecture Details

        The Civil War and Reconstruction (HIST 119) Professor Blight offers an introduction to the course. He summarizes some of the course readings, and discusses the organization of the course is discussed. Professor Blight offers some thoughts on the nature of history and the study of history, before moving into a discussion of the reasons for Americans enduring fascination with the Civil War. The reasons include the human passion for epics, Americans fondness for redemption narratives, the Civil War as a moment of "racial reckoning," the fascination with loss and lost causes, interest in military history, and the search for the origins of the modern United States. 0000 - Chapter 1. Introduction 0309 - Chapter 2. Course Texts and Structure 1047 - Chapter 3. Martin Luther King Jr.s "Promissory Note" 1531 - Chapter 4. Books and the Purpose of History 2200 - Chapter 5. Why Study the Civil War? 3846 - Chapter 6. Whitmans "Democracy" and Conclusion Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website httpopen.yale.educourses This course was recorded in Spring 2008.

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