HIST 119 - The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877

Open Yale Courses - HIST 119: The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877 (Spring 2008). Instructor: Professor David W. Blight. This course explores the causes, course, and consequences of the American Civil War, from the 1840s to 1877. The primary goal of the course is to understand the multiple meanings of a transforming event in American history. Those meanings may be defined in many ways: national, sectional, racial, constitutional, individual, social, intellectual, or moral. Four broad themes are closely examined: the crisis of union and disunion in an expanding republic; slavery, race, and emancipation as national problem, personal experience, and social process; the experience of modern, total war for individuals and society; and the political and social challenges of Reconstruction. (from oyc.yale.edu)


Lecture 01 - Introductions: Why Does the Civil War Era Have a Hold on American Historical Imagination?
Lecture 02 - Southern Society: Slavery, King Cotton, and Antebellum America's "Peculiar" Region
Lecture 03 - A Southern World View: The Old South and Proslavery Ideology
Lecture 04 - A Northern World View: Yankee Society, Antislavery Ideology and the Abolition Movement
Lecture 05 - Telling a Free Story: Fugitive Slaves and the Underground Railroad in Myth and Reality
Lecture 06 - Expansion and Slavery: Legacies of the Mexican War and the Compromise of 1850
Lecture 07 - "A Hell of a Storm": The Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Birth of the Republican Party, 1854-55
Lecture 08 - Dred Scott, Bleeding Kansas, and the Impending Crisis of the Union, 1855-58
Lecture 09 - John Brown's Holy War: Terrorist or Heroic Revolutionary?
Lecture 10 - The Election of 1860 and the Secession Crisis
Lecture 11 - Slavery and State Rights, Economies and Ways of Life: What Caused the Civil War?
Lecture 12 - "And the War Came," 1861: The Sumter Crisis, Comparative Strategies
Lecture 13 - Terrible Swift Sword: The Period of Confederate Ascendency, 1861-1862
Lecture 14 - Never Call Retreat: Military and Political Turning Points in 1863
Lecture 15 - Lincoln, Leadership, and Race: Emancipation as Policy
Lecture 16 - Days of Jubilee: The Meanings of Emancipation and Total War
Lecture 17 - Homefronts and Battlefronts: "Hard War" and the Social Impact of the Civil War
Lecture 18 - "War So Terrible": Why the Union Won and the Confederacy Lost at Home and Abroad
Lecture 19 - To Appomattox and Beyond: The End of the War and a Search for Meanings
Lecture 20 - Wartime Reconstruction: Imagining the Aftermath and a Second American Republic
Lecture 21 - Andrew Johnson and the Radicals: A Contest over the Meaning of Reconstruction
Lecture 22 - Constitutional Crisis and Impeachment of a President
Lecture 23 - Black Reconstruction in the South: The Freedpeople and the Economics of Land and Labor
Lecture 24 - Retreat from Reconstruction: The Grant Era and Paths to "Southern Redemption"
Lecture 25 - The "End" of Reconstruction: Disputed Election of 1876, and the "Compromise of 1877"
Lecture 26 - Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory
Lecture 27 - Legacies of the Civil War

HIST 119: The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877
Instructor: Professor David W. Blight. Class Sessions. Downloads. Syllabus. This course explores the causes, course, and consequences of the American Civil War, from the 1840s to 1877.