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Materials > Schedule > Antebellum | Civil War | Reconstruction | Remembrance | Group Projects


How did American progress -- territorial expansion, revolutions in communication, transportation, and commerce -- actually contribute to sectional division? Why did North and South develop antagonistic images of each other? What purposes did such images serve? How was the issue of slavery politicized in each section? How have historians explained the causes of the Civil War?

Aug. 24 (T) Introductions
Aug. 26 (R) Antebellum I
Reading: Punch Image | The antislavery position: Hinton Rowan Helper, The Impending Crisis of the South, [excerpt] | Frederick Law Olmsted, The Cotton Kingdom, [excerpt] | Accounts of slavery: Stroyer | Henson | Spicers | Clarke | Roper | Garner | Douglass | Jacobs |
Discussion: The "New" North
Aug. 31 (T) Antebellum II
Reading: American Iliad, chapter 1 | The proslavery position: George Fitzhugh, Sociology for the South [excerpt] | William Trescott, The Position and Course of the South [excerpt] | George Fitzhugh, Caniballs All! [excerpt] | author unknown, Manifest Destiny of the World | Demonic Visions: Image from Odd Leaves | Another image from Odd Leaves | Edgar Allan Poe, Hop-Frog (optional reading) | Henry Clay Lewis, Stealing a Baby (optional reading) | Henry Clay Lewis, The Curious Widow (optional reading) | Henry Clay Lewis, A Struggle for Life (optional reading)
Discussion: The Old South
Sept. 2 (R) Antebellum III
Reading: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin; spend a while browsing Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture
Discussion: The Antislavery Narrative
Sept. 7 (T) Antebellum IV
Reading: American Iliad, chapter 2 | All That Makes a Man [excerpt] | on the caning of Charles Sumner: Sumner's Speech | Bocock's Defense | Harpweek Image | Immigration chart |
Discussion: Acclimating a Nation to Violence

* * * * *    STOWE PAPER DUE SEPTEMBER 7    * * * * *

Sept. 9 (R) Antebellum V
Reading: American Iliad, chapter 3 | All That Makes a Man [excerpt] | Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address
Discussion: Why the War Came

PART II - THE CIVIL WAR (1861-1865)

What expectations and ambitions did soldiers bring to the war? How were those expectations and ambitions realtered by the end of 1862? Under what advantages and disadvantages did each side labor at the outset of the conflict? How did the Confederacy fare in the west? In the east? What were the terms, circumstances, and motivations of the Emancipation Proclamation? What was a Civil War battle really like? How did soldiers process the gruesome acts they witnessed and caused? What sustained them? In what varied ways did women and African Americans experience the conflict? What was it like for non-combatants living through the Civil War? How were societies North and South transformed by the war? How and why did the Confederacy lose the war?

Sept. 14 (T) Civil War I
Reading: American Iliad, chapter 4; army organization diagram (pdf)
Discussion: River War 1862
Sept. 16 (R) Civil War III
Reading: Brent Nosworthy, "The Reality of the Battlefield" from The Bloody Crucible of Courage
Discussion: The Nature of Combat
Sept. 21 (T) Civil War II
Reading: American Iliad, chapter 5 and 6
Discussion: Antietam and Emancipation
Sept. 23 (R) FIRST EXAM
Sept. 28 (T) Civil War IV
Reading: All That Makes a Man [excerpt]
Discussion: Soldier Motivation
Sept. 30 (R) Civil War V
Reading: Drew Faust, Mothers of Invention [excerpt]
Discussion: Gender and the Civil War
Oct. 5 (T) Civil War VI
Reading: American Iliad, chapters 7 and 8
Discussion: Home Fronts
Oct. 7 (R) Civil War VII
Reading: American Iliad, chapter 9; Wills, Lincoln at Gettysburg
Discussion: Can Words "Remake" a Country?
Oct. 12 (T) Civil War VIII
Reading: American Iliad, chapter 11
Discussion: 1864 and Total War

* * * * *    WILLS PAPER DUE OCTOBER 12    * * * * *

Oct. 19 (T) Civil War IX
Reading: American Iliad, chapters 12 and 13; Images of Jefferson Davis's capture: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
Discussion: Why the South Lost
Oct. 21 (R) Civil War X
Reading: American Iliad, chapter 14; Garry Wills, "Lincoln's Greatest Speech?"; Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address Discussion: He Belongs to the Ages


What was the condition of the country after the war? What was Reconstruction? How was it variously articulated, implemented? What role did African Americans play in Reconstruction? What role did the klan play? How did North and South eventually reconcile themselves? Did Reconstruction fail?

Oct. 28 (R) Reconstruction I
Reading: McPherson, Ordeal by Fire, chapter 26
Discussion: Aftermath
Nov. 2 (T) Reconstruction II
Reading: William Barney, "The Crisis of Reconstruction," pt. 1
Discussion: Reconstruction in the South
Nov. 4 (R) NO CLASS / SHA
Nov. 9 (T) Reconstruction III
Reading: William Barney, "The Crisis of Reconstruction," pt. 2
Discussion: Reconstruction Rollback

* * * * *    TOPICS FOR TERM PROJECTS DUE NOVEMBER 9    * * * * *


How should the Civil War be remembered? How did Ambrose Bierce, William Faulkner, Margaret Mitchell, and Mark Twain remember the Civil War? What are the reenactors up to?

Nov. 11 (R) War in Remembrance I
Reading: David Thelen, interviewer, "The Movie Maker as Historian: Conversations with Ken Burns"
Ken Burns's The Civil War: Historians Repond
Discussion: Cinematic Memory -- Ken Burns and The Civil War
Nov. 16 (T) War in Remembrance II
Reading: 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.
Discussion: Fictional Memory -- Bierce, Twain, Mitchell, and Faulkner
Nov. 18 (R) War in Remembrance III
Reading: Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic
Discussion: Living Memory -- Reenacting and the Epic Imagination

* * * * *    HORWITZ PAPER DUE NOVEMBER 18    * * * * *


Nov. 23 (T) Neglected Chapters in Civil War History I
Chapter One: Atrocities of the Civil War (Heath Brewer, Rob Summers, and Debbie Taylor)
Chapter Two: Chickamauga (Jessica Hammond and Rebecca Knox)
Chapter Three: Women Soldiers (Melisa Hanks, Jennifer Mishue, and Rachel Glasson)
Nov. 30 (T) Neglected Chapters in Civil War History II
Chapter Four: Andersonville (David Lee, Ben Lee, and Jodi Outlaw)
Chapter Five: The Confederate Home Guard (Janet McClellan, Marie Chavis, and Mark Hall)
Chapter Six: Southern Women in the Civil War (Amy Lippard, Melanie Oxendine, and Julie Hodges)
Dec. 2 (R) Neglected Chapters in Civil War History III
Chapter Seven: Blockade Runners (Jessica McArdell, Thomas Mann, and Curt Locklear)
Chapter Eight: Sex and the Civil War (Brandon Michael and James Keith)
Chapter Nine: The 54th Massacusetts (Nicole Thorp and Ashley Patterson)
Chapter Ten: Children in the Civil War (Sandra Butler and Drew Davis)
Dec 7 (T) FINAL EXAM (8:00-10:30)