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Major questions: How did American progress -- territorial expansion, revolutions in communication, transportation, and commerce -- actually contribute to sectional division? What did North and South share? How and why did they begin to develop enemy images of each other in the 1850s? How was the issue of slavery politicized in each section? How have historians explained the causes of the Civil War?
Key terms: modernization, economic antislaveryism, moral antislaveryism, political antislaveryism, Free Soilers, Compromise of 1850, fugitive slave act, Harriet Beecher Stowe, the slave narratives, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Simon Legree, Uncle Tom, the St. Clares, "Bleeding Kansas", Lawrence, Pottawatamie Creek, the caning of Charles Sumner, Preston Brooks, Andrew Butler, Dred Scott, Roger B. Taney, John Brown, Harpers Ferry, Black Republicanism, the Slave Power, James Buchanan, doughface, Star of the West, Crittenden Compromise, secession, Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens, William H. Seward, Fort Pickens, Fort Sumter, Robert Anderson
Reading: American Iliad, chapters 1-3; Uncle Tom's Cabin; All That Makes a Man [excerpts]; Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address
The Civil War
Major questions: Under what advantages and disadvantages did each side labor at the outset of the conflict? How did the Union fare in the western theater in the spring of 1862? What was a Civil War battle really like?
Key terms: Claude Minie, James H. Burton, smoothbores, rifles, muzzleloaders, breechloaders, repeaters, Napoleons, minie balls, case shot (canister and grape), Josiah Gorgas, the Monitor, the Merrimack, the Virginia, the Hunley, Bull Run, Manassas, Irvin McDowell, Rose O'Neal Greenhow, P.G.T. Beauregard, Joseph E. Johnston, J.E.B. Stuart, Thomas J. Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, Forts Henry and Donnelson, Shiloh, David Farragut
Reading: American Iliad, chapters 4; "The Reality of the Battlefield"
The Civil War (cont'd)
Major questions: How was a Civil War army organized? What was a Civil War battle really like? How did soldiers process the gruesome acts they witnessed and caused? What sustained them? What roles did African Americans play in the Civil War? What was it like for non-combatants living through the Civil War? What were arguably the lowest points of Union morale? How were societies North and South transformed by the war? To what degree and in what ways did the Civil War become a total war? Why did the Confederacy lose? How might Abraham Lincoln fairly be called the Great Interpreter of the Civil War?
Key terms (people): Clara Barton, P.G.T. Beauregard, John Wilkes Booth, Braxton Bragg, John C. Breckinridge, Don Carlos Buell, Ambrose E. Burnside, Benjamin Butler, Dorothea Dix, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Jefferson Davis, Jubal Early, Edward Everett, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Ulysses S. Grant, John Bell Hood, Joseph Hooker, Julia Ward Howe, Thomas J. Jackson, Andrew Johnson, Joseph E. Johnston, Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln, James Longstreet, George B. McClellan, George Gordon Meade, John S. Mosby, George E. Pickett, John Pope, William Quantrill, William S. Rosecrans, Edmund Ruffin, Winfield Scott, Phil Sheridan, William Tecumseh Sherman, Daniel E. Sickles, Alexander Stephens, J.E.B. Stuart, Clement L. Vallandigham, Zebulon Vance
Key terms (campaigns and battles): Peninsula Campaign, Seven Days, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Vicksburg Campaign, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Grant's Overland Campaign, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg Campaign, The Crater, Atlanta Campaign, Kennesaw Mountain, Sherman's March, Bentonville, Sayler's Creek, Appomattox
Key Terms (miscellaneous): contrabands, Copperheads, New York City Draft Riot, Emancipation Proclamation, Fort Pillow, United States Sanitary Commission, Tredegar Iron Works
Reading: American Iliad, chapters 5-14; Berry, All That Makes a Man [excerpt]; Wills, Lincoln at Gettysburg; Wills, "Lincoln's Greatest Speech?"; Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address
Reconstruction and Remembrance
Major questions: What questions did the war answer? What questions did it leave unanswered? What was the condition of the country that would have to answer those questions? How did Reconstruction play out in Washington? How did it play out on the ground in the South? What role did African Americans play in Reconstruction? What role did the Klan play? Did Reconstruction fail, and if so, why? How should the Civil War be remembered? How did Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain, Margaret Mitchell, and William Faulkner remember the Civil War? What motivates reenactors? Why is it ironic that we remember the Civil War as our Iliad?
Key terms: Sultana, Andrew Johnson, The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, Presidential Reconstruction, 10% Plan, Congressional Reconstruction, Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, Military Reconstruction, First Reconstruction Act, Tenure of Office Act, the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, scalawags, carpetbaggers, Ku Klux Klan, Colfax, redemption, crop lien, literacy test, grandfather clause, poll tax, Civil Rights Cases (1883), segregation, Ambrose Bierce, William Faulkner, Margaret Mitchell, Mark Twain, reenactors, Robert Lee Hodge, farbs, Southern Guard
Reading: McPherson, Ordeal by Fire, chapter 26; William Barney, "The Crisis of Reconstruction," parts 1 and 2; David Thelen, interviewer, "The Movie Maker as Historian: Conversations with Ken Burns"; Ambrose Bierce, "Chickamauga"; Mark Twain, "The Private History of a Campaign That Failed"; Margaret Mitchell, selection one and selection two from Gone With the Wind; William Faulkner, sentence from Intruder in the Dust; Frederick Goldin, selection from the introduction to his translation of The Song of Roland; Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic
Major questions: What atrocities were committed at Fort Pillow and the Crater? What do such encounters tell us about the nature of the conflict? What happened at the battle of Chickamauga? What was the battle's significance? What varied roles did women play in the Civil War? How many participated as soldiers? What was their life like? How did they avoid detection? What was their motivation? What were conditions like at Andersonville? Why did they get so bad and who was responsible? How does the history of the Confederate Home Guard help complicate our picture of the Civil War homefront? What role did blockade runners and commerce raiders play in the Civil War, and how successful were they? What happened to the C.S.S. Alabama? How did Americans display an ambivalent attitude toward sex during the Civil War? What was the 54th Massachusetts and what did it contribute to the Union war effort? How were children affected by the Civil War? Why is their perspective important?
Key terms: Fort Pillow, Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Crater, atrocities, Chickamauga, William S. Rosecrans, Braxton Bragg, Andersonville, Henry Wirz, Hiram Hulin, 54th Massacusetts, Robert Gould Shaw, William H. Carney, blockade runners, C.S.S. Alabama, Raphael Semmes, U.S.S. Kearsage, Lucy Mina Otey, Clara Barton