Revised March 24, 2008
The American Civil War and Reconstruction
Office: Keene-Flint 007 (Graduate Coordinator’s Office)
Office hours Wednesdays 2:30-4:30
(352) 392-0272 x231
This course is a broad survey of the events and issues surrounding the Civil War. The course falls into three (uneven) chronological periods. In the first four weeks or so we will consider the chain of events leading up to the Civil War. We will then turn to a close analysis of the war years themselves, considering events and issues on the battlefield and on the home front. The final three weeks will consider some aspects of the war’s impact.
Although this is a large lecture course, it is not intended to be an introductory level course. You will find that the readings are fairly heavy and the expectations are high. This is not a good course for students who have a hard time showing up for class or doing the readings.
The following books should be available at Goering’s bookstore.
Although this is a fairly large lecture class, please keep in mind that you are neither invisible nor anonymous. I find that my ability to do my best job is undermined when people in the audience are not paying attention. So when class begins please put aside your newspapers and other reading materials. Similarly, I expect you to be on time for each class meeting. I am easily distracted when folks are wandering in after I have begun class.
I am of two minds about computers in the classroom. I do not think that you will need one to take notes, but some folks prefer to take notes on a laptop. However, students with computers should not divide their attention between note taking and surfing the web, working on other projects, or email. If you are like me and cannot resist bouncing from one function to another, please leave the computer at home.
Lecture attendance is required; we will take attendance occasionally. Students who miss more than one lecture (or who are persistently late) will see a reduction in their grades. Students who ignore the above requests about newspapers, computers, etc. will be treated as absent for the purpose of final grades.
/ Weekly Papers /
You should attend each discussion section with notes on the assigned readings and with issues in mind that you would like to raise in discussion.
As a way of ensuring good preparation, you will write a short (250 word) analytic summary of the readings for each week. These are due on the Tuesday lecture prior to the discussion section. You should submit hard copies to your TA before lecture begins.
The Teaching Assistants will also give periodic open note quizzes on the assigned readings.
Both short essays will be due in class at the start of the week’s discussion section. On several other occasions you will have short research assignments that will be due in section. These are noted below and will be discussed as the dates approach.
As with the lectures, students who miss more than one discussion section (or who are persistently late) will have their final grade reduced.
In addition to the weekly essays on the readings, you will write two short essays (4-5 pages) in this course, each based on a very small research project. Assignments will be handed out prior to the due dates. All essays are due in discussion section on the date assigned. Extensions will only be approved under unusual circumstances.
There will be a midterm and a final. The midterm will be taken in the discussion sections. The final will combine a short take home essay and a one hour exam during the regular final period.
I assume that anything you do in this class is your own work unless I am told otherwise. You also may not rely on someone else's notes in taking the reading quizzes. Please review the section on Academic Integrity in the Student Handbook. In your papers all direct quotes should be identified with quotation marks and cited properly. Any instance of intentional dishonesty on any assignment -- no matter how small -- will result in an automatic F for the entire course. Please review the University’s honesty policy at http://www.dso.ufl.edu/judicial/academic.htm.
Feel free to contact me if you have any individual concerns or issues that need to be discussed. Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office (http://www.dso.ufl.edu/drp/). The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the instructor when requesting accommodation.
Midterm 15% (Review Sheet)
Paper #1 20%
Paper #2 20%
Class Discussion and Preparation 20%
** Missed classes and lateness will result in extra reductions.
Class Meetings and Assignments
All readings should be completed by the Tuesday lecture.
· January 8th An expanding nation
§ This Terrible War: Chapter 1: 11-42.
· January 15th Political tensions (1820-1854)
§ This Terrible War: Chapter 2: 43-78.
§ William and Ellen Craft, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom
January 22nd Bleeding
§ This Terrible War: Preface: 1-10.
§ Harrold: Chapter 1
· January 29th 1860 and the Road to Secession
§ Charles B. Dew, Apostles of Disunion.
§ Harrold: Chapter 2: “Disunion to War.”
· February 5th To Arms!
§ This Terrible War: Chapters 3 and 4: 79-145.
§ Harrold: Chapter 3: # 1, #2.
· February 12th The First Year of War – (1861-1862)
§ This Terrible War: Chapter 5: 146-171.
· February 19th Emancipation
§ Harrold: Chapter 6, # 2, 4, 6.
· MID-TERM EXAMINATIONS DURING DISCUSSION SECTION.
February 26th The Road to
§ This Terrible War: Chapter 6: 172-198; Chapter 8: 230-263.
§ Michael Shaara, The Killer Angels.
· March 4th The War at Home
§ This Terrible War: Chapter 7: 199-229.
§ Harrold: Chapter 3: #8; Chapter 5: # 4, 5, 6; Chapter 6: # 3, 5.
· March 11th Spring Break
· March 18th Women and Voluntarism
· March 25th The Soldier’s Life
· Reading: Harrold: Chapter 4: entire.
· April 1st The Road to Total War? (1864-1865)
· April 8th Reconstruction – I
§ This Terrible War: Chapter 10: 298-328
· April 15th Reconstruction – II
§ This Terrible War: Chapter 11-12: 323-382.
§ Harrold: Chapter 8.
· April 22nd The Civil War in Memory
§ This Terrible War: 383-399.
§ Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic, pages TBA.
· April 28th FINAL EXAMINATION
· 10:00-12:00 (This will be half take home and half in class.)