Mary A Henderson
Conflicting interests, ideologies, and ways of life in the United States from the 1840s to the 1870s.
The Civil War has been called the United States' "trial by fire." Much of what we recognize about the modern US is a product of this bloody war. This class will look broadly at the period from the 1840s through the end of Reconstruction. Of particular focus will be the evolution of the government and economy and the social effect of these changes on people's lives. The course will focus not only on the actions of the state and politicians, but also the actions of ordinary people.
Student learning goals
Students will gain an understanding of how governments, markets, and individuals and groups have functioned as agents of historical change.
We will also evaluate historiography, that is the history of how historical events have been portrayed over time, and the impact stories of the past have had on the present.
Students will strengthen their critical reading and writing skills through in-class cooperative work and and discussion and individual writing assignments.
General method of instruction
Recommended: Previous exposure to college-level history; a preliminary understanding of the basics of historical research, the critical analysis of historical documents, and the fundamentals of historical writing.
Class assignments and grading