HIST-399 Antebellum and Civil War
Fall for 2016-2017
In this course, we will focus on themes that defined American history during the late antebellum and Civil War era: the expansion and entrenchment of slavery, slave resistance, religious awakening, the sectionalization of politics and, of course, the impact of war on the American state and people. Using a mix of primary and secondary sources, we will explore this period from multiple viewpoints – we will see history from the perspective of figures like Abraham Lincoln, who had access to the highest rungs of power in the American state, and from the perspective of figures like Frederick Douglass, who challenged Americans to embrace in fact the principles on which the United States had been founded in theory. This course will highlight Americans’ struggles over the meaning of central American principles – freedom, liberty, equality – during this crucial, formative period in the nation’s history, and examine how those struggles shaped American development and nearly shattered the American nation. This course will also introduce students to conducting and writing about archival research through hands-on work with Civil War-era sources in Georgetown’s Special Collections.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

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Fall '16: Taylor B (file download)
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