Sunday, June 07, 2009

HST 304-730 The American Civil War


Week One

  • Lecture
      Topics included:
      • Kansas-Nebraska
      • Election of 1856/Dred Scott/Lincoln-Douglas debates
      • Election of 1860
      • Secession/Compromise Efforts
      • Ft. Sumter
  • Required Reading:
    • Fellman et al, Part I.
    • Compromise of 1850, Kansas-Nebraska Act, in Fellman, pp. 401, 409.
    • Abraham Lincoln’s House Divided speech, June 17, 1858. [link]
    • Stephen Douglas’s Speech in Chicago, July 9, 1858. [link]
    • Declarations and Ordinances of Secession of South Carolina, Texas, Mississippi, Georgia [link]
    • South Carolina Ordinance of Secession, Declaration of Causes of Secession, in Fellman, p. 423.
    • Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address [link] or available in Fellman, p. 426.
  • Recommended Reading:
    • William Henry Seward, “The Irrepressible Conflict,” Speech at Rochester, New York, October 25, 1858. [link]
    • James Henry Hammond, Speech to the Senate on Admission of Kansas, [“King Cotton Speech”] [link]
      • Note: Scroll down and finish the speech, beginning at “As I am disposed to see this question settled…”
    • Platforms of the political parties in 1848, 1852, 1856, 1860. [link]
    • Political cartoons for election of 1860 [link]
  • Weekly Writing Assignment
    • Weekly writing assignment: In your discussion groups, debate the following proposition, using sources from course materials to support your position: “The formation and growth of the Republican Party was the death knell of the federal Union.” Please see separate instructions for debates. See separate instructions. [link]

Week Two

  • Lecture:
      Topics included:
      • Joining up
      • Handicapping the War/Northern & Southern War Aims, Strategies
      • The Border States
      • First Battles
      • The War in the West to Shiloh
      • Strains of War
  • Required Reading:
    • Fellman et al., chapters 3-4.
    • Jefferson Davis Inaugural Address [link] or in Fellman, p. 431.
    • Ambrose Bierce, "What I Saw of Shiloh" [link]
  • Recommended Reading:
    • "The Division of the States During the Civil War" [link]
    • Alexander Stephens, “Cornerstone Speech,” in Fellman, p. 434.
    • Constitution of the Confederate States of America, in Fellman, p. 436.
  • Weekly Writing Assignment
    • Biographical assignment. See separate instructions. [link]

Week Three

  • Lecture:
      Topics included:
      • The Politics of War North & South, Summer 1862
      • Military Campaigns (East)
      • Emancipation Proclamation
      • Elections of 1862
      • Stalemate & Emancipation
  • Required Reading:
    • Felman et al, chapters 6-7.
    • Ken Burns, Forever Free, a segment of The Civil War, (PBS) (flash video) [ click to open in new window ]
      Please note that there is a 20 second delay within the video before it begins to display content. This is not due to your connection, but is part of the video itself. As soon as you see progress in the gray bar you can click on the play button.
    • Allen Guelzo, "The Emancipation Proclamation: Bill of Lading or Ticket to Freedom?" History Now, No. 6, (December 2005). [link]
    • “Emancipation Proclamation” [link]. The final draft is [here].
    • Lincoln to Albert G. Hodges, Washington, April 4, 1864 [link]
    • Ira Berlin, et al., "The Destruction of Slavery," in Slaves no More: Three Essays on Emancipation and the Civil War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 1–76 [link]
    • James M. McPherson, "Who Freed the Slaves?" Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 139, no. 1 (1995): 1–10. [link]
  • Recommended Reading:
    • Reporters’ sketches of the battle of Antietam: access Harpweek, the electronic edition of Harper’s Illustrated Weekly via MSU Library electronic resources; run a full-text article search for the dates 09/01/1862- 12/31/1862, with keyword “antietam” and “select feature” set to “illustration.” Several A. R. Waud sketches will appear in the hit results. Originals of Waud’s sketches may be viewed here: [link]
    • Generals Fremont and Butler on slaves, in Fellman, p. 439.
    • A splendid, if eclectic and unattributed, collection of photographs and information about war correspondents has been compiled by Michael Farnsley, a correspondent reenactor, at [link]
    • "Freedmen as soldiers," [link]
  • Weekly Writing Assignment
    • Weekly Writing Assignment: Online debate: In your discussion groups, debate the following proposition, using sources from course materials to support your position: "The Emancipation Proclamation was behind the curve of events: it ratified conditions already long in motion, as the slaves, not Abraham Lincoln, undertook the responsibility for their own emancipation." See separate instructions. [link]

Week Four

  • Lecture
      Topics included:
      • The Crisis of the Confederacy
      • Copperheads
      • Gettysburg/Vicksburg
      • Draft Riots
      • Southern Unionism
      • Chickamauga/Chattanooga
  • Required Reading:
    • Fellman et al, chapters 4-8.
    • Documents and context, (especially the editorials in the LaCrosse Daily Democrat) provided in lesson plan, “Wisconsin Copperhead: Marcus ‘Brick’ Pomeroy,” at [link]
    • Virtual New York, “New York City Draft Riots” [link]
    • Gettysburg Address, in Fellman, p.447
  • Recommended Reading:
    • Lessons X-XII, Marinda Branson Moore, The Geographical Reader, for the Dixie Children (Raleigh: Branson, Farrar & Co., 1863) [link]
    • Report of the President, Directors, &c., of the Milledgeville R. Road Co., to the Stockholders. Oct. 6th, 1862, (Augusta: Constitutionalist Print, 1862) [link]
    • Kimberly Family Correspondence, 1862-1864 [link]
  • Weekly Writing Assignment
    • Lesson plan/exhibit design. See separate instructions. [link]

Week Five

  • Lecture
      Topics included:
      • Lincoln & Reconstruction [Wade-Davis]
      • Grant, Sherman, and Total War
      • Congressional Policies 1865
      • Appomattox
      • Lincoln’s Assassination
      • The End
  • Required Reading:
    • Fellman et al, chapter 9.
    • 1864 platforms of the Democratic and Union (Republican) Parties [link]
    • Sherman on the meaning of war, in Fellman, p. 454.
    • Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, in Fellman, p.465.
  • Recommended Reading:
    • "Sherman's March to the Sea," a collection of diaries, field orders, letters, and maps [link]
    • Political cartoons from the election of 1864, in American Political Prints, 1766-1876. [link]
    • Douglas Linder, “The Trial of the Lincoln Assassination Conspirators” [link]
    • Wade-Davis bill controversty, in Fellman, p.461
  • Weekly Writing Assignment
    • Weekly Writing Assignment: Online debate: In your discussion groups, debate the following proposition, using sources from course materials to support your position: “Either the leaders of the Confederacy were blind, stupid, or suicidal – something which no historian has yet proved – or they had some reasonable hope of achieving their victory conditions. At what point did the Confederacy’s cause truly become a lost one?” See separate instructions. [link]

Week Six

  • Lecture
      Topics included:
      • The Defeated South
      • Andrew Johnson
      • Congressional Backlash/Reconstruction Acts
      • Redemption
      • Radical Reconstruction/Impeachment/XIV & XV Amendments
      • Southern Republicans
      • Sharecropping
  • Required Reading:
    • Fellman et al, chapter 10.
    • Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution
    • Article and documents in Reginald Washington, “Sealing the Sacred Bonds of Matrimony: Freedmen’s Bureau Marriage Records,” Prologue Magazine 37 (1) (Spring 2005). [link]
    • Documents, images, and context by Lucia Z. Knoles, Curator, “Northern Visions of Race, Region, & Reform, in the Press and Letters of Freedmen and Freedmen’s Teachers in the Civil War Era” [link]
    • “Black Codes of Mississippi, 1865 [link]
    • President Johnson's Amnesty Proclamation, in Fellman, p.467.
  • Recommended Reading:
    • Military Reconstruction Acts [link]
    • Documents, biographies, and images collected at The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson [link]
  • Weekly Writing Assignment
    • Reaction paper. See separate instructions. [link]

Week Seven

  • Lecture
      Topics included:
      • Election of 1872
      • KKK
      • Northern Weariness
      • Depression, Labor Unrest
      • Election of 1876
  • Required Reading:
    • Fellman et al, chapters 11-12, epliogue.
    • Booker T. Washington, “An Address Delivered at the Opening of the Cotton States and International Exposition, ... September 18, 1895” audio transcription [link]
    • Plessy v. Ferguson 163 U.S. 537 (1896) [link]
    • The Slaughterhouse Cases 83 US 36 (1872) [link]
  • Recommended Reading:
    • “Making Money the Old Fashioned Way” [link]
    • Photographs, “Great Railroad Strike of 1877, [link]
    • “Without Sanctuary: Photographs and Postcards of Lynching in America” [link]
    • Documents, biographies, and images at “Hayes vs. Tilden, The Electoral College Controversy of 1876-1877” [link]
    • Images, “1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia,” A Digital Archive of American Architecture [link]
  • Weekly Writing Assignment
    • Final Exam: See separate instructions. [link]

Several links from the course schedule are defunct. Here are their replacements:

Week 3:

Emancipation Proclamation:

McPherson's article, "Who Freed the Slaves?" is available as a PDF in the Week 3 Unit folder.

Week 5:

Political cartoons from the 1864 election may be found at:

Week 6:

Mississippi Black Code may be read at:


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