HIST159 The American Civil War

Department of Social & Behavioral Science: History

I. Course Number and Title
HIST159 The American Civil War
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
IV. Prerequisites
V. Other Pertinent Information
VI. Catalog Course Description
This course examines the American Civil War, the conflict that defined the United States. Students study the time period stretching from the Compromise of 1850 to the Presidential election of 1876, as well as the various reasons for the war, the combat, the eventual outcome, and the Reconstruction Period.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    Students will:

    1. identify the major reasons for the outbreak of the American Civil War;
    2. differentiate between the societies, cultures, and economies of the Northern and Southern United States;
    3. recount the course, campaigns and major battles of the Civil War;
    4. evaluate the American Civil War and its effects on the international community;
    5. evaluate the reasons behind the North's victory over the South; and
    6. evaluate the effectiveness of the Reconstruction Period.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    1. the Compromise of 1850: why necessary, details, how passed, and results
    2. slavery as an issue in: economics, Southern strategy, the transcontinental railroad, the Kansas-Nebraska bill, expansion of the United States, in the social fabric of the land, and as a cause of the war
    3. Kansas as a microcosm of the war
    4. John Brown
    5. the Dred Scott Decision
    6. the Lincoln-Douglas Debates
    7. the presidential elections of 1856 and 1860
    8. Lincoln's dilemma: Washington D.C. is in the South
    9. King Cotton
    10. conflict begins, and Lincoln's response
    11. first battles
    12. How did the South expect to win? What went wrong?
    13. Why does the North not win an immediate victory?
    14. War in the East -- War in the West
    15. the Lincoln administration
    16. troubles with England. Alabama affair
    17. France in Mexico
    18. the Emancipation Proclamation: war cannot end in Union victory without freedom for the slaves
    19. some important battles: Antietam, Chancellorsville, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, the Wilderness Campaign
    20. beginning of the end: Sherman's March and Petersburg
    21. Southern politics, economics, and military affairs
    22. election of 1864
    23. Lee's surrender
    24. Lincoln's assassination
    25. Andrew Johnson and reconstruction
    26. Johnson's impeachment
    27. congressional reconstruction
    28. reconstruction: how did it fail the ex-slaves?
    29. Amendments 13 and 14
    30. the Grant Administration: corruption
    31. the disputed election of 1876
    32. the end of reconstruction
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    Student assessment consists of in-class exams, electronically administered exams, essays, written assignments, multi-media projects, and/or participation in classroom/online discussions.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    See course syllabus.

Review/Approval Date - 5/05; Core Goals/Objectives added 5/05; Revised 5/2012; New Core 8/2015