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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: The Demise of the Slave-Holding American South, 1846-1877 (PGHC11283)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the American South between the end of the Mexican War and the end of Reconstruction, focusing on the role of race and slavery and on the Civil War.
Course description This course explores the history and historiography of the American South, 1846-1877. During these years the South was transformed by Union victory in the Civil War and the emancipation of four million slaves. A confident and powerful slave-holding regime collapsed and southerners both white and black faced the challenge of rebuilding their society, politics and economy on a post-slavery basis. We will analyse historiographical debates on slavery and slaveholding; historians? explanations of southern secession and the Confederacy's defeat; re-evaluations of the roles played by diverse social groups (slaves, women, planters, non-slaveholding whites); changing interpretations of the reconstruction era; and recent scholarly interest in the historical memory of the Civil War-era South.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  15
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 80 %, Practical Exam 20 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
4000 word essay (80%)

Non-Written Skills:
Presentation (20%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. an advanced understanding of the major events and historical trends that affected the American South between 1846 and 1877
  2. awareness of the major historiographical debates involving the Civil War-era American South and its system of slavery, including the ability to assess historians' positions in these debates and to formulate original interventions therein
  3. the ability to evaluate critically primary sources, secondary sources and the seminar contributions of their colleagues
  4. the use of these critical skills to advance clear, well-reasoned and independent arguments in both written and oral forms
  5. where relevant, students should also have begun to devise a plan of research for the MSc dissertation that takes into account and critically responds to appropriate historiographical contexts
Reading List
Walter Johnson, River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom (Cambridge, MA, 2013)

Steven Hahn, A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration (Cambridge, Mass., 2003)

Walter Johnson, Soul By Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market (Cambridge, Mass., 1999)

Elizabeth Varon, Disunion! The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859 (Chapel Hill, 2008)

Steven Ash, When the Yankees Came: Conflict and Chaos in the Occupied South, 1861-1865 (Chapel Hill, 1995)

Joseph Glatthaar, General Lee's Army: From Victory to Collapse (New York, 2008)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Keywordsdemise slave-holding american south
Course organiserDr David Silkenat
Tel: (0131 6)50 4614
Course secretaryMiss Annabel Samson
Tel: (0131 6)50 3783
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