21H.116J / STS.029J The Civil War and Reconstruction

Fall 2005

What do I want, John Henry? Warrenton, VA, November 1862.
Warrenton, VA, November 1862 / Alex. Gardner, photographer. (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [reproduction number, LC-USZ62-98249 (b&w film copy neg.)])

Course Highlights

This course features a detailed reading list and outlines of the course lectures.

Course Description

Although attention will be devoted to the causes and long-term consequences of the Civil War, this class will focus primarily on the war years (1861-1865) with special emphasis on the military and technological aspects of the conflict. Four questions, long debated by historians, will receive close scrutiny:
  1. What caused the war?
  2. Why did the North win the war?
  3. Could the South have won?
  4. To what extent is the Civil War America's "defining moment"?
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Prof. Merritt Roe Smith

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session