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September 26, 2023


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HIST 119: The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877 (Spring 2008, Open Yale Courses). 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)

Course Curriculum

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

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