Yale Lectures: The Civil War and Reconstruction with David Blight

Posted by on Jul 28th, 2011 | 1 Comment
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One of the most important moments in United States history is the Civil War. What caused the Civil War? What was the legacy of the Civil War? If you have ever wished you could sit in on a lecture series at a major research university and learn everything there is to know about this tumultuous time, you are now in luck. Join Yale Historian David Blight (courtesy of our friends at Yale Courses), and watch a semester’s worth of classes on the history of the Civil War and master its erudite details in one day while folding laundry, washing the dishes, and effortlessly get a world class history education for free while multitasking. David Blight, originally from Flint, Michigan earned his PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently the Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale. A nineteenth century expert, Blight is very dedicated to the study of historical memory and how we, as a nation, remember the Civil War. His recent book, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory serves as a wonderful companion piece and more in-depth analysis of this courses’ content.

Lecture 1: Introductions: Why Does the Civil War Era Have a Hold on American Historical Memory?

Lecture 2: Southern Society: Slavery, King Cotton, and AntebellumAmerica’s “Peculiar” Region

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

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

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

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

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

Lecture 8: Dred Scott, BleedingKansas, and the Impending Crisis of the Union, 1855-58

Lecture 9: John Brown’s Holy War: Terrorist or Heroic Revolutionary?

Lecture 10: The Election of 1860 and the Secession Crisis

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

Lecture 12: “And the War Came,” 1861: The Sumter Crisis, Comparative Strategies

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

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

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

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

Lecture 17. Homefronts and Battlefronts: “Hard War” and the Social Impact of the Civil War

Lecture 18: “War So Terrible”: Why the Union Won and the Confederacy Lost at Home and Abroad

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

Lecture 20:Wartime Reconstruction: Imagining the Aftermath and aSecondAmericanRepublic

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

Lecture 22: Constitutional Crisis and Impeachment of a President

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

Lecture 24: Retreat from Reconstruction: The Grant Era and Paths to “Southern Redemption”

Lecture 25: The “End” of Reconstruction: Disputed Election of 1876, and the “Compromise of 1877″

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

Lecture 27: Legacies of the Civil War

For more information:

  • Visit the U.S. History Scene Reading List for the Civil War.


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