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

Postgraduate Course: The American Civil War and Reconstruction (online) (PGHC11391)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the origins, progress, outcome, and consequences of the American Civil War
Course description The Civil War was America's crucible: a test of national survival that transformed life in the United States. Not only was slavery abolished and the nation reunited under a newly powerful central government but the meanings of American freedom and equality, of manhood and womanhood, of race and citizenship, were also redefined. These transformations are the main subject of the course. We will begin by investigating the background and causes of the Civil War and go on to explore topical aspects of the war itself, such as women's experiences, emancipation, and dissent. Inspired by the sesquicentennial of the war (2011-2015), the final part of the course considers how the war has been remembered over the past 150 years, highlighting connections between contested memories of the war and politics, culture, and racial struggles.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. advanced knowledge of the causes, course, consequences, and commemoration of the American Civil War
  2. awareness of the major historiographical debates involving the interpretation of the American Civil War and its remembrance
  3. the ability to evaluate critically secondary sources and the seminar contributions of their colleagues
  4. the ability to analyse in depth a range of primary sources and place them in historical context
  5. the ability to use these critical skills to advance clear, well-reasoned and independent arguments in both written and oral forms
Reading List
William J. Cooper, Jr., "A Reassessment of Jefferson Davis as War Leader: The Case from Atlanta to Nashville," JSH 36 (1970): 189-204.

Kenneth W. Noe, "Jigsaw Puzzles, Mosaics, and Civil War Battle Narratives," CWH 53 (2007): 236-243.

Philip S. Paludan, "The American Civil War Considered as a Crisis of Law and Order," AHR 77 (1972): 1013-1034.

Jason Phillips, "The Grave Vine Telegraph: Rumors and Confederate Persistence," JSH 72 (2006)

W. J. Rorabaugh, "Who Fought for the North in the Civil War? Concord, Massachusetts, Enlistments," JAH 73 (1986): 695-701.

Joseph T. Glatthaar, "Everyman's War: A Rich and Poor Man's Fight in Lee's Army," CWH 54 (2008): 229-246.

Scott King-Owen, "Conditional Confederates: Absenteeism among Western North Carolina Soldiers, 1861-1865," CWH 57 (2011): 349-379.

Larry M. Logue, "Who Joined the Confederate Army? Soldiers, Civilians, and Communities in Mississippi," Journal of Social History 26 (1993): 611-623.

James M. McPherson, For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War (New York, 1998)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The study of the past gives students a unique understanding of the present that will enable them to succeed in a broad range of careers. The transferable skills gained from this course include:
- understanding of complex issues and how to draw valid conclusions from the past
- ability to analyse the origins and development of current historiographical debates
- a command of bibliographical and library- and/or IT-based online and offline research skills
- a range of skills in reading and textual analysis
- ability to question and problematize evidence; considering the relationship between evidence and interpretation
- understanding ethical dimensions of research and their relevance for human relationships today
- ability to marshal arguments lucidly, coherently and concisely, both orally and in writing
- ability to deliver a paper or a presentation in front of peer audiences
- ability to design and execute pieces of written work and to present them suitably, as evidenced by the final assessment essay of 3,000 words
KeywordsCivil War Reconstruction American
Course organiserProf Jennifer Harbour
Tel: (0131 6)50 6693
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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