Course Syllabus

 

“Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.”

–Abraham Lincoln, December 1, 1862

 

Books

  • Eric Foner, The Second Founding (New York: W.W. Norton, 2019)
  • Elizabeth R. Varon, Armies of Deliverance: College Edition (New York: Oxford, 2021)

 Additional Readings & Resources

  • Civil War & Reconstruction Online, House Divided Project [WEB]
  • Constitutional Debates and John Dickinson, Knowledge for Freedom seminar [WEB]
  • Dickinson & Slavery, House Divided Project, 2018-21 [WEB]
  • Election of 1860, House Divided: Civil War Research Engine [WEB]
  • Frederick Douglass’s Fifth of July speech (1852), Knowledge for Freedom [WEB]
  • Emancipation Digital Classroom, House Divided Project [WEB]
  • Gettysburg Virtual Tour, Civil War & Reconstruction Online [WEB]
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones, ed. The 1619 Project, New York Times, August 19, 2019, featuring essays by Jamelle Bouie, Hannah-Jones, and Bryan Stevenson [WEB]
  • Harpers Ferry Raid, House Divided: Civil War Research Engine [WEB]
  • Joseph Locke and Ben Wright, eds., American Yawp, 2020-21 ed., [WEB]
  • Lincoln’s Gettysburg Addresses, House Divided Project / Google Arts [WEB]
  • Lincoln’s letters on sectional crisis (1855), Knowledge for Freedom seminar [WEB]
  • Lincoln’s Writings: The Multi-Media Edition, House Divided Project [WEB]
  • Rachel Morgan, Mary Dillon’s Carlisle, House Divided Project, Summer 2017 [WEB]
  • Rachel Morgan, Harriet Jacobs’ ex-slave narrative, History 311 (Fall 2017) [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 the Civil War Mean the End of Slavery?” 2015 [WEB]
  • Prince of Emancipation, House Divided Project / Google Arts & Culture [WEB]
  • Slave Stampedes on the Missouri Borderlands, House Divided Project / NPS [WEB]
  • William Elisha Stoker: A Texas Farmer’s Civil War, House Divided Project [WEB]
  • Cooper Wingert, James Williams’ ex-slave narrative, History 311 (Fall 2017) [WEB]
  • Michael E. Woods, Causes of the Civil War, Essential Civil War Curriculum [WEB]

 

Course Policies

Attendance is required and participation will be evaluated and count toward final grades.  There are also two outside events on 11/20 that students must attend (or view) and write a brief reflection about afterward. Those who miss class for any reason must also email a short reflection (about a paragraph or two) on the missed reading assignment within a week of the absence (see model here). For further details on course policies, including those regarding electronics, accommodations for disabilities, plagiarism and general learning objectives, please consult the Course Policies page.

First Essay  –Coming of Civil War

On Friday, October 1, students will submit a 3-5 page typed, double-spaced essay on a coming of Civil War topic provided to them near the beginning of that week. 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 –Emancipation

On Friday, November 5, students will submit a 3-5 page typed, double-spaced essay on a topic about the development of Union emancipation policy provided to them near the beginning of that week. 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 Web Projects

The highlight of this semester will be a website project that students will undertake to explain the significance of an important historical figure from the Civil War era.  By Friday, December 3, students must submit an 8- to 10-page biographical essay on their subject, relying on a range of primary and secondary sources, and employing Chicago-style footnotes.  By Wednesday, December 15, students should revise this essay and transform it into website on the free platform Weebly.  Each website should include an array of properly credited and captioned images as well as at least one embedded short video (about 1 to 2 minutes). 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 research submissions will be penalized up to 5 points per day.

 

Grade Distribution

Class Participation                                 20 percent

First Essay (Coming of War)                 25 percent

Second Essay (Emancipation)               25 percent

Final web projects                                  30 percent

 

Day Date Discussion Topic Reading Assignment
Tuesday 8/31 Methods & Expectations
Thursday 9/2 Constitution & Slavery Constitutional debates + Hannah-Jones
 
Tuesday 9/7 NO CLASS –ROSH HASHANAH
Thursday 9/9 Cotton Revolution Yawp, ch 11 + Wingert & Morgan posts
Tuesday 9/14 Sectional Crisis Yawp, chap 13 + Dickinson & Slavery
Thursday 9/16 NO CLASS –YOM KIPPUR
Tuesday 9/21 Underground Railroad Pinsker essay + Slave Stampedes
Thursday 9/23 Dred Scott Case Civil War online –Coming of War
Tuesday 9/28 Other Lincoln – Douglass Debates Douglass Fifth of July speech + Lincoln letters
Thursday 9/30 Harpers Ferry and 1860 Election HD —Harpers Ferry + 1860 Election
Friday 10/1 Essay 1 due By 5pm
Tuesday 10/5 Secession Crisis Woods essay + Lincoln’s Writings
Thursday 10/7 1861: War Begins Varon, chap 1 + Morgan site
 
Tuesday 10/12 Spring 1862:  To Shiloh Varon, chap 2
Thursday 10/14 Summer 1862:  Confiscation Varon, chap 3 + Lincoln’s Writings
 
Tuesday 10/19 NO CLASS –FALL PAUSE
Thursday 10/21 Fall 1862:  Antietam Varon, chap 4
Tuesday 10/26 NO CLASS
Thursday 10/28 Winter 1862-63:  Emancipation Varon, chap 5-6 + Emancipation site
Tuesday 11/2 Spring 1863:  Homefront Varon, chap 7 + Stoker exhibit
Thursday 11/4 Summer 1863:  Gettysburg Varon, chap 8 + Gettysburg tour
Friday 11/5 Essay 2 due By 5pm
 
Tuesday 11/9 Fall 1863:  Wartime reconstruction Varon, ch 9 + Gettysburg Address exhibit
Thursday 11/11 Spring 1864:  Hard War Varon, chap 10 + Lincoln’s Writings
Tuesday 11/16 Fall 1864:  Lincoln’s Re-Election Varon, chap 11
Thursday 11/18 Spring 1865:  Endgame Varon, chap 12 + Pinsker 2015 essay
Saturday 11/20 Renaming Ceremony & Wert Lecture Email reflection due by 11/27
Tuesday 11/23 Reconstruction Varon, conclusion + Foner, intro
Thursday 11/25 NO CLASS –THANKSGIVING
Tuesday 11/30 Second Founding –13th and 14th Foner, chaps 1-2
Thursday 12/2 Right to Vote Foner, chap 3
Friday 12/3 Biographical essays due By 5pm
 
Tuesday 12/7 Jim Crow –North and South Foner, chap 4 + Dickinson & Slavery
Thursday 12/9 Lessons & Legacies 1619 Project (Bouie, Stevenson)
Wednesday 12/15 Final Web Projects due By 5pm