Syllabus

“Slavery is not abolished until the black man has the ballot, or [while] any discrimination exists between white and black…”

–Frederick Douglass, (May 9, 1865)

Books

  • Louis P. Masur, The Civil War (New York: Oxford, 2011) [WEB RESOURCE]
  • John Stauffer and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., eds., The Portable Frederick Douglass (New York Penguin Classics, 2016)

 Additional Readings & Resources

  • David W. Blight, “For Something beyond the Battlefield”: Frederick Douglass and the Struggle for the Memory of the Civil War,” Journal of American History 75 (March 1989): 1156-1178 [JSTOR]
  • Cornelia Hughes Dayton, “Taking the Trade: Abortion and Gender Relations in an Eighteenth-Century New England Village.” William & Mary Quarterly 48 (Jan. 1991): 19-49 [JSTOR]
  • Dickinson & Slavery, House Divided Project, 2018-21 [WEB]
  • Joanne B. Freeman, “Dueling as Politics: Reinterpreting the Burr-Hamilton Duel,” William and Mary Quarterly 53 (April 1996): 289-318 [JSTOR]
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones, ed. The 1619 Project, New York Times, August 19, 2019 [WEB]
  • Knowledge for Freedom (KFF) seminar, House Divided Project [WEB]
  • Lincoln’s Writings: The Multi-Media Edition, House Divided Project [WEB]
  • Joseph Locke and Ben Wright, eds., American Yawp, 2020-21 ed. [WEB]
  • Edward T. O’Donnell, Of Plagues and Pilgrims, In the Past Lane [WEB]
  • Matthew Pinsker, “Interpreting the Upper-Ground Railroad,” in Max van Balgooy, ed.,Interpreting African American History and Culture (2014), 75-88 [WEB]
  • Matthew Pinsker, “Did the End of Civil War Mean the End of Slavery,” Smithsonian / Zocalo Public Square (2015) [WEB]

First Essay  –Revolutionary Era

On Monday, October 3, students will submit a 3-5 page typed, double-spaced essay on a Revolutionary Era topic provided to them in class on Thursday, September 29. All essays must include both primary and secondary source material from the assigned readings properly cited using Chicago-style footnotes. Outside research is allowed but not required. Additional information will be available on the annotated assignment guidelines at the course site. Essays will be graded on depth of analysis, use of evidence, and quality of prose. Late essays will be penalized up to 5 points each day.

Second Essay –Slavery and Sectionalism

On Monday, November 14, students will submit a 3-5 page typed, double-spaced essay on a topic connected to slavery and sectionalism provided to them in class on Thursday, November 10. All essays must include both primary and secondary source material from the assigned readings properly cited using Chicago-style footnotes.  Outside research is allowed but not required. Additional information will be available on the annotated assignment guidelines at the course site. Essays will be graded on depth of analysis, use of evidence, and quality of prose. Late essays will be penalized up to 5 points each day.

Final Close Reading Project

The highlight of this semester will be a multi-media close reading project that students will undertake to analyze an important document from the Civil War or Reconstruction era.  A list of possible documents will be provided to students by Prof. Pinsker. By Monday, December 12, students should post a close reading analysis essay at the course site that covers about 4-6 pages double-spaced (800 to 1,200 words) and includes Chicago-style footnotes and a handful of properly captioned and credited images.   Students must also embed inside their post a companion short video featuring about 1-2 minutes of a multi-media reading of their assigned text (using their own voice-over with companion images and music).  Additional information will be available on the annotated assignment guidelines at the course site. Projects will be graded on depth of analysis, research effort, and quality of prose. Late projects will be penalized up to 5 points per day.

Grade Distribution

Class Participation                              20 percent

First Essay (Revolutionary Era)         25 percent

Second Essay (Sectionalism)              25 percent

Close Reading project                        30 percent

 

Day Date Discussion Topic Reading Assignment
Tuesday 8/30 Methods & Expectations
Thursday 9/1 Columbian Exchange Yawp chap 1
 
Tuesday 9/6 Founding Myths Yawp chap 2 + O’Donnell essay
Thursday 9/8 Colonial America Yawp chap 3 and chap 4
Tuesday 9/13 Puritans and Abortion Dayton article
Thursday 9/15 American Revolution Yawp ch 5 + KFF Adams Letters and Declaration
Thursday 9/15 Constitution Day (Jones & Shelden) ATS, 7pm
Tuesday 9/20 US Constitution Yawp chap 6 (Sec I – V)
Thursday 9/22 Constitution and Slavery Jones intro + 1787 Debates and Slavery Clauses
Tuesday 9/27 NO CLASS –ROSH HASHANAH
Thursday 9/29 Revolution of 1800 Yawp chap 6 (Sec VI – XI)
Monday 10/3 Revolutionary essay due By 5pm
Tuesday 10/4 Jeffersonian Era Yawp chap 7 + Freeman article
Thursday 10/6 Changing Landscapes Yawp chap 8 and chap 9
 
Tuesday 10/11 Awakenings Yawp chap 10
Thursday 10/13 Introducing Lincoln and Douglass KFF Lincoln sketch + Stauffer and Gates intro (Portable)
 
Tuesday 10/18 NO CLASS –FALL PAUSE
Thursday 10/20 Douglass and Slavery Narrative, (Portable), pp. 15-82
Tuesday 10/25 Douglass and Freedom Narrative, pp. 82-100 + Pinsker UGRR essay
Thursday 10/27 Manifest Destiny Yawp chap 12
Tuesday 11/1 Sectional Crisis Yawp chap 13
Thursday 11/3 Other Lincoln-Douglass Debates KFF Fifth of July + AL Letters Masur, chap 1
 
Tuesday 11/8 Dred and Harriet Scott Case KFF page
Thursday 11/10 Secession Crisis KFF First Inaugural + Douglass editorial, (Portable), pp. 456-66
Monday 11/14 Slavery & Sectionalism essay due By 5pm
Tuesday 11/15 ZOOM: Outbreak of Civil War Masur chap 2 + Dickinson & Slavery
Thursday 11/17 ZOOM: Liberty & Union Masur chap 3 + Greeley letter
Tuesday 11/22 ZOOM: Gettysburg & Combat Masur chap 4 + Gettysburg Address
Thursday 11/25 NO CLASS –THANKSGIVING
Tuesday 11/29 1864: Year of Decisions Masur chap 5 + KFF texts: Mission of War, Dickinson speech, Blind Memorandum
Thursday 12/1 End of War Masur chap 6 + Pinsker essay (End)
Tuesday 12/6  Second Founding Yawp chap 15 + KFF Amendments
Thursday 12/8 Race and Reunion Blight article + KFF Douglass speech
Monday 12/12 Final Close reading projects Due by 5pm