058-858: 2:40-4:00 P.M., TTh, Anderson Lecture Hall 14                    Spring Semester 2007

Professor: Gregory J. W. Urwin, Ph.D.                                              Office: 931 Gladfelter Hall

Office Hours: 10:30 A.M.-12:00 P.M, and 1:00-2:20 P.M., Tuesday; 1:30-2:20 P.M., Thursday; or by appointment.

Office Telephone Number: 215-204-3809                                      E-Mail Address: gurwin@temple.edu

Credit Hours: 3

Teaching Assistant: Jason Smith                                                      Office: 932 Gladfelter

 TA E-Mail Address: jwsmith@temple.edu                                       TA Office Phone: 215-204-9876

Declaration of Intent: This course will present a detailed survey of the causes, conduct, and immediate consequences of the American Civil War, the bloodiest conflict in United States history. Special emphasis will be placed on the sectional, racial, political, and economic differences that culminated in the dissolution of the Union, the formation of the Confederate nation, strategy and tactics, the personalities of major Union and Confederate commanders and statesmen, the role of Abraham Lincoln in preserving the Union, and the federal government's conflicting and ultimately unsuccessful efforts to reconstruct Southern politics and society.

Goals and Objectives:

Knowledge Based Skills: 1) Track Transitions; 2) Multicultural Americanism; 3) Impact of Technology; 4) Importance of Politics; 5) Importance of Political Partisanship; 6) Evolution of American Way of War; 7) Prominence of Religion; 8) Capabilities and Limitations of Violence as a Political Tool; 9) Recognition of Primary Sources.

Skill-Based Goals: 1) Spatial Awareness; 2) Writing Proficiency; 3) Appreciation for Historical Context; 4) Improved Reading Comprehension; 5) Sequential Logic; 6) Analytical Thinking; 7) Preparation for a Lifetime of Learning; 8) Research Skills; 9) Computer Literacy.

A period print showing Abraham Lincoln writing the Emancipation Proclamation,
the most revolutionary edict ever issued on presidential authority.
 (Courtesy Library of Congress)

Main Text: David Herbert Donald, Jean Harvey Baker, and Michael F. Holt, The Civil War and Reconstruction.  New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2001.

Collateral Texts: Thomas P. Slaughter, Bloody Dawn: The Christiana Riot and Racial Violence in the Antebellum North.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

William L. Shea and Earl J. Hess, Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1992.

Robert R. Mackey, The Uncivil War: Irregular Warfare in the Upper South.  Norman:  University of Oklahoma Press, 2005.

David W. Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory.  Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2001.

Semester Grade:  The studentís final grade will be based on the total number of points earned in two exams (100 points apiece, or 200 points, total), quizzes on the three collateral texts (50 points apiece, or 150 points, total), one essay based on the first collateral reading, i.e., Slaughter, Bloody Dawn (100 points), and one computer exercise (50 points) -- a total of 500 possible points.  Class attendance and participation will also affect the grade.  The professor reserves the right to fail any student who misses six classes without prior permission or valid excuses.  It is up to any student who misses a test or quiz to schedule a make-up session with the teaching assistant.  Students who do not provide valid excuses for missing the dates on which these exercises were originally scheduled can expect a late penalty.  If opportunities arise, the class will be able to earn extra-credit points by attending films, lectures, or other educational events relating to the content of the course.

Computer Exercise: Students must bring the instructor any example of a primary source dealing with some aspect of the Civil War era from any site on the World Wide Web. A primary source is usually an eyewitness account of a historic event or some document that was generated at the time or shortly after the event occurred. In other words, you could select the reminiscences of Civil War veterans or of civilians who lived during that period; a speech given by a politician from the North or South; legislation (such as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, Second Confiscation Act of 1862, Confederate Conscription Act of 1862, or Enrollment Act of 1863); soldier letters or diaries; contemporaneous newspaper or magazine articles; and reports or memoranda generated by military commanders, military organizations, or government agencies.

Once you have found an appropriate document and printed it out, you must then write a two-page paper (typed, double-spaced, in 10- or 12-point font) summarizing its content and explaining how it relates to what we are studying in this course. (In other words, what important thing does your primary source say about how Americans experienced the Civil War and the events surrounding it?) After you have written your paper, prepare a typed cover sheet giving your full name, the name of the web site, and the web site's URL (address), staple the cover sheet to your paper and the primary source that you found, and hand it in on the date signified on the course schedule.

Here is one important web site that will lead you to primary sources relevant to this course. There are many others.

U.S. Civil War

U.S. Civil War Center (see links on "Archives," "Diaries," and "Letters"):

Men of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment pour over the south curtain of Fort Wagner,
South Carolina, during their valorous but ill-fated night assault on July 18, 1863.
(National Guard Heritage Print.  Courtesy National Guard Bureau)

Essay on Slaughter: After reading A Brave Black Regiment, write an essay in which you address the following questions:

        1) What were the main factors that contributed to the tragic racial confrontation that occurred at Christiana, Pennsylvania, on September 11, 1857?  Where there any genuine bad guys involved in this incident?  How about any heroes?

        2) Why did the Christiana Riot evoke such powerful responses from Americans living in both the North and the South?

        3) In the federal court trial precipitated by this incident, who was the defendant, with what crime was he charged, how was he viewed by various people in the North and South, and what was the outcome of the trial?

Academic Honesty Statement: Students are expected to do their own work on all exams, quizzes, and other exercises. Anyone caught cheating in class and/or plagiarizing will receive a failing grade in the course. The American Heritage Dictionary defines plagiarism as: "1. To steal and use the ideas and writings of another as one's own. 2. To appropriate passages or ideas from another and use them as one's own."

Americans with Disabilities Act Statement: Temple University adheres to requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  If you need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability, you should contact the professor privately to discuss your situation as soon as possible.  Contact Disability Resources and Services at 215-204-1280 (or 11280) in 100 Ritter Annex to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities.  You may also access Disability Resources and Services at this web site:  http://www.temple.edu/disability/Handbook/Noframes/noframes.html.

Statement on Student and Faculty Academic Rights and Responsibilities:  Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom.  The University has a policy on Student and Faculty Academic Rights and Responsibilities (Policy #03.70.02), which can be accessed through at the following URL: http://policies.temple.edu/getdoc.asp?policy_no=03.70.02.

Some Basic Regulations

1) No food, liquids, or tobacco products may be consumed in class.
2) It is a sign of poor manners for men to wear hats or caps indoors (except for religious reasons).  All students will remove billed or brimmed headgear for tests and quizzes.
3) Anyone leaving class after an exam or quiz (i.e., cutting the lectures after these exercises) will fail that particular exercise.
4) If you must miss class for some foreseeable reason, have the courtesy to notify the instructor in advance.
5) Anyone caught cheating will flunk the course.
6) Students who disrupt class will be liable to punitive quizzes that may lower their grades.  Persistent misbehavior can lead to expulsion or other disciplinary action.


Week 1: 16-19 January
      Sectionalism and Union

               Donald, Baker and Holt, Ch. 1

Week 2: 22-26 January
      Slavery, The Wedge, 1775-1850

               Donald, Baker and Holt, Chs. 2 & 3

Week 3: 29 January-2 February
      Sectional Confrontation, 1850-54

               Donald, Baker and Holt, Ch. 4, pp. 74-79

Week 4: 5-9 February
      Kansas and the Rise of the Republican Party, 1854-56

               Donald, Baker and Holt, Ch. 4, pp. 79-98
               Essay on Slaughter, Bloody Dawn (6 February)

Week 5: 12-16 February
      The Deepening Crisis, 1857-59

               Donald, Baker and Holt, Ch. 5
               Internet Exercise Due (15 February)

Week 6: 19-23 February
      Lincolnís Election and Secession, 1860-61

           Donald, Baker and Holt, Ch. 7

Week 7: 26 February-2 March
      The Coming of War, 1861

           Donald, Baker and Holt, Chs. 8 & 9
           Quiz, Shea and Hess, Pea Ridge (27 February)

Spring Break: 5-9 March

Week 8: 12-16 March
      The Border States and Bull Run, 1861-62

           Donald, Baker and Holt, Chs. 10, 11, &12
           Midterm (15 March)

Week 9: 19-23 March
    The Balance Sheet of War

           Donald, Baker and Holt, Chs. 13, 14, & 15

Week 10: 26-30 March
      The Course of the War, 1861-63

           Donald, Baker and Holt, Chs. 16, 17, 18, & 19

Week 11: 2-6 April
      From Gettysburg to Appomattox, 1863-65

           Donald, Baker and Holt, Chs. 20, 21, 22, & 23
           Quiz, Mackey, The Uncivil War (5 April)

Week 12: 9-13 April
      Presidential Reconstruction under Lincoln and Johnson, 1865

           Donald, Baker and Holt, Chs. 24, 25, 26, & 27

Week 13: 16-20 April
      Congressional Reconstruction, 1865-70

           Donald, Baker and Holt, Chs. 28, 29, & 31

Week 14: 23-27 April
      The Waning of Reconstruction, 1870-77

           Donald, Baker and Holt, Chs. 32, 33, & 34
           Quiz, Blight, Race and Reunion ( 26 April)

Week 15: 30 April-4 May (Final Exams Start on 3 May)

           Study Day, 1 May

Final Exam Week: 3-9 May

          Final Exam, Monday, 7 May 2007, 2:00-400 P.M.

Major General George Armstrong Custer grasps his headquarters guidon as he leads
dismounted elements of his 3rd Cavalry Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac,
against the Confederate right at the Battle of Five Forks, Virginia, April 1, 1865.
This color plate by Ernest Lisle Reedstrom is from Gregory J. W. Urwin, The
United States Cavalry:  An Illustrated History, 1776-1983 (Norman:  University of
Oklahoma Press, 2003).  (Courtesy University of Oklahoma Press and the author)

Course Materials

Test Terms from the Main Text and Exam Essay Questions

Lecture Terms

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