This course focuses on the Civil War and Reconstruction as the central drama of American life in the 19th century, and also, the central event of American history itself, to the present day. How do we begin to understand the significance of the killing fields of the American Civil War, its three quarters of a million dead? The bloody conflict, and its causes and consequences, are explored from multiple perspectives: those of individuals such as Lincoln, McClellan, Davis, Grant, Longstreet and Lee, Dix and Tubman, Douglas and Douglass, who made momentous choices of the era; of groups such as the African American freedpeople and the Radical Republicans, whose struggles for freedom and power helped shape the actions of individuals; and of the historians, novelists, filmmakers and social movements that have fought to define the war's legacy for modern America. How is the Civil War both long ended and, at the same time, very much alive and still contested in contemporary America? Modern, U.S. PREREQUISITE: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; AS SD I; FA HUM; AR HUM; AS SC