Civil War and Reconstruction

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Civil War and Reconstruction
Humanities Course
Course CodeCWAR
Years Of Operation1997-????
Sites OfferedFRD
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Course Description

From the CTY Course Catalog (1999):

Students in this course immerse themselves in the social history of the Civil War and the Reconstruction period that followed. The town of Frederick, Maryland, and its surrounding area offer students the rich resources of historical societies, museums, and other landmarks that help them to gain a thorough understanding of nearly every facet of this complicated period.

Students begin by evaluating significant issues preceding the war, including the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, economics, and slavery. They then study all aspects of the Civil War, including major battles, the war-time economy, the influence of the press, and the social ramifications of the conflict in both the North and the South. The course examines the role of women in the Civil War, including Sojourner Truth, Clara Barton, and Dorothea Dix. It also features field trips to Civil War sites, including Gettysburg.

Analyzing primary sources is central to the course. Students examine the writings of John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, and Frederick Douglass; excerpts from slave narratives; and diaries and correspondence of civilians and soldiers. Weekly projects culminate in reports, essays, debates, historical simulations, or presentations. Discussions follow a seminar-style format and address topics ranging from what circumstances would provoke a society to take up arms against itself to how it repairs the damage in the aftermath.