The American Civil War
Time: 11:00 - 12:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HAH42
Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
What is the course about?
This course will be examining the contested reasons behind the American Civil War – slavery, maintaining the Union, and state versus federal control over different issues and aspects of American life. We will be looking at some of the deadliest battles and personalities of the War. Along with these aspects of the War, we will be examining the economics of paying for the war – “manpower”, weapons, and food. The War changed the landscape of America – politically, economically and socially.
Note: this is not a military history course – therefore it will not be going into detailed-depth on all of the battles or personalities.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Contested reasons behind the American Civil War
- The key personalities of the War
- The deadliest battles of the War
- Economics of paying for the War effort by both sides – Confederates (Southern States) and the Unionists (Northern States)
- What was happening beyond the battlefields in America? (Western territories, role of women, etc.).
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify key arguments / reasons for the Civil War starting
- Outline the economic issues of both sides in the War
- Understand what is achieved / loss / won in America as a result of the War.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an `introductory` course and does not assume any previous study or reading although you will need a good grasp of English to keep up with the course. As with most of our history and current affairs courses, an open mind and a willingness to listen to and think about views with which you do not always agree are more important than specific levels of skills.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The class will be delivered through a presentation, accompanied by PowerPoint slides. We will use a variety of maps, images, video and text throughout the session.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No additional costs. A list of recommended resources will be provided to follow-on from the session, but this is optional.
Reading Resources List (Optional, not exhaustive)
Wells, J.D. (2012) A House Divided. The Civil War and Nineteenth Century America, Routledge.
McPherson, J (1988) Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era, Oxford University Press.
Foner, E. (2010) The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, W. W. Norton & Company.
Potter, D.M. (1976) The Impending Crisis,1848-1861, New York: Harper & Row. [The Impending Crisis, 1848–1861 is a 1977 nonfiction book by American historian David M. Potter, who had died in 1971. The book was completed by fellow Stanford University professor Don E. Fehrenbacher]
Gerston, L. N. (2007) American Federalism: A concise Introduction, Basingstoke: Macmillan
LaCroix, A.L. (2011) The Ideological Origins of American Federalism, Boston, MA: Harvard University Press.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
HAH43: The Reconstruction Period.
Dale joined City Lit in 2010 and has taught a range of courses in the history and politics programmes. She also teaches in the Politics and Geography Departments at Birkbeck, University of London. She has a PhD in Politics from the University of Durham, and has taught at the Universities of Durham, Limerick, Bedfordshire, and has guest lectured at the University of Birmingham. She has a keen interest in American history/politics, European history/politics, democratic transitions & states, and global issues like the environment, migration and civic edudation. When not teaching, Dale is usually found buried in books (both textbooks and fiction!), baking, still making attempts to learn French, hiking, or squeeking away as a beginner - learning to play the violin.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.