History 365

HIST 365    
America’s Civil War

Catalog Entry

HIST 365    
America’s Civil War
Credit Hours: (3)

Prerequisite: Three hours of History at 100 level.

This course is a survey of the social, political, military, diplomatic, and economic events of the American Civil War. It explores the causes, character, conduct, and consequences of the American Civil War. Broad themes to be investigated are: the crisis of union and disunion in an expanding republic; slavery, race, and emancipation; and the experiences of modern, total war for individuals and society.

Detailed Description of Content of Course

•    Nationalism vs. Sectionalism
•    National Changes and early crises (1820-1850)
•    The 1850s
•    Lincoln and the Secession Crisis
•    Fort Sumter and the Opening Salvos
•    Balance Sheet
•    Military Progression of War
•    Life of a Common Soldier
•    Emancipation
•    African Americans in the War
•    Prisoners of War
•    Medical Aspects of the War
•    Why the North Won the War

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

HIST 365 utilizes a variety of pedagogical tools depending on the class makeup and the topic under discussion. Some of the instructional strategies applied include lecture, group and class discussions, multi-media presentations, student/class debates, and primary source analysis.

Goals and Objectives of the Course

Departmental Goals and Objectives:
1. Students will practice thinking critically and analytically about historical issues, acquire a broader knowledge and deeper understanding of pertinent historical events and processes, and cultivate a familiarity with the concepts of historical argument and interpretation.

2. Students will develop disciplinary research skills by designing strategies to locate and analyze primary and secondary source evidence, processing and organizing the resultant data, and composing proper citation and bibliographical entries.

3. Students will apply their critical thinking, research, and compositional skills to the creation and presentation of thesis driven essays that discuss, for example, historical social, economic, political, and/or cultural developments and that address issues such as the causes and consequences of historical change and continuity.

Course Goals and Objectives:
Upon completion of HIST 365, students will be able to identify, describe and discuss major themes of the American Civil War including but not limited to:

•    The complex relationship between the North and South before, during, and after the war; the evolution of two different ways of life between the sections.
•    The causes and events leading to secession and war; "King Cotton" vs. the antislavery forces; successes and failures of compromises.
•    The social, political, economic, diplomatic and military developments of the war.
•    How the war was won and lost; the military strategies; battles and leaders; the elements of modern warfare and the importance of technology.
•    How what began as a bitter argument over Union and States' rights ended as a struggle over the meaning of freedom; the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment.
•    The contributions of African Americans and women throughout the war.

Assessment Measures

Knowledge and understanding of the material covered in this course will be measured using an array of assessment tools that may include, among other things, class attendance and participation, written examinations, formal writing assignments of various types, and informal writing assignments. All exercises are designed to expand the student's ability to evaluate historical events and to develop his or her ability to compose persuasive arguments.

Other Course Information: None

Review and Approval
September 2010 Reviewed and Approved by Sharon A. Roger Hepburn, Chair