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1. Introductions: Why Does the Civil War Era Have a Hold on American Historical

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Uploaded on Nov 21, 2008

The Civil War and Reconstruction (HIST 119)

Professor Blight offers an introduction to the course. He summarizes some of the course readings, and discusses the organization of the course is discussed. Professor Blight offers some thoughts on the nature of history and the study of history, before moving into a discussion of the reasons for Americans' enduring fascination with the Civil War. The reasons include: the human passion for epics, Americans' fondness for redemption narratives, the Civil War as a moment of "racial reckoning," the fascination with loss and lost causes, interest in military history, and the search for the origins of the modern United States.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction
03:09 - Chapter 2. Course Texts and Structure
10:47 - Chapter 3. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Promissory Note"
15:31 - Chapter 4. Books and the Purpose of History
22:00 - Chapter 5. Why Study the Civil War?
38:46 - Chapter 6. Whitman's "Democracy" and Conclusion

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2008.

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  1. 1. Introductions: Why Does the Civil War Era Have a Hold on American Historical

  2. 2

    2. Southern Society: Slavery, King Cotton, and Antebellum America's "Peculiar" Region

  3. 3

    3. A Southern World View: The Old South and Proslavery Ideology

  4. 4

    4. A Northern World View: Yankee Society, Antislavery Ideology and the Abolition Movement

  5. 5

    5. Telling a Free Story: Fugitive Slaves and the Underground Railroad in Myth and Reality

  6. 6

    6. Expansion and Slavery: Legacies of the Mexican War and the Compromise of 1850

  7. 7

    7. "A Hell of a Storm": The Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Birth of the Republican Party, 1854-55

  8. 8

    8. Dred Scott, Bleeding Kansas, and the Impending Crisis of the Union, 1855-58

  9. 9

    9. John Brown's Holy War: Terrorist or Heroic Revolutionary?

  10. 10

    10. The Election of 1860 and the Secession Crisis

  11. 11

    11. Slavery and State Rights, Economies and Ways of Life: What Caused the Civil War?

  12. 12

    12. "And the War Came," 1861: The Sumter Crisis, Comparative Strategies

  13. 13

    13. Terrible Swift Sword: The Period of Confederate Ascendency, 1861-1862

  14. 14

    14. Never Call Retreat: Military and Political Turning Points in 1863

  15. 15

    15. Lincoln, Leadership, and Race: Emancipation as Policy

  16. 16

    16. Days of Jubilee: The Meanings of Emancipation and Total War

  17. 17

    17. Homefronts and Battlefronts: "Hard War" and the Social Impact of the Civil War

  18. 18

    18. "War So Terrible": Why the Union Won and the Confederacy Lost at Home and Abroad

  19. 19

    19. To Appomattox and Beyond: The End of the War and a Search for Meanings

  20. 20

    20. Wartime Reconstruction: Imagining the Aftermath and a Second American Republic

  21. 21

    21. Andrew Johnson and the Radicals: A Contest over the Meaning of Reconstruction

  22. 22

    22. Constitutional Crisis and Impeachment of a President

  23. 23

    23. Black Reconstruction in the South: The Freedpeople and the Economics of Land and Labor

  24. 24

    24. Retreat from Reconstruction: The Grant Era and Paths to "Southern Redemption"

  25. 25

    25. The "End" of Reconstruction: Disputed Election of 1876, and the "Compromise of 1877"

  26. 26

    26. Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory

  27. 27

    27. Legacies of the Civil War

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