Course Syllabus

Class:  Civil War & Reconstruction
Credits: 1/2
Department:   Social Studies
Instructor:  Mr. McMichael
  • Students must be either a junior or senior to take Civil War & Reconstruction
Text Books:
Course Goals and Objectives:
  • This course is devoted to looking at the causes and the effects of the American Civil War.  It will go beyond looking just at the many clashes between the Union and Confederate Armies.  The course is broken up into three thematic sections.  Section one will look at the causes and origins of the conflict between the North and South.  Section two will look at a number of battles but also see the effects of these battles on the home fronts.  The final section will look at reconstructing the broken nation.   In addition to the textbooks, this class will make use of secondary and tertiary digitized resources.
Course Description
Classroom Outline Key:
ACW: American Civil War Almanac
R.E:   Reconstruction Era Almanac

The Coming of the War

Unit 1:       The North, South, Slavery and the Abolition Movement

  • ACW Chapter 1:        Slavery and the American South
  • ACW Chapter 2:        Northern Abolition Movement
Unit one deals with how the northern and southern states began to diverge from one another during the antebellum period.  The unit also deals with the issue of slavery and the movements associated with the South’s peculiar institution.

Unit 2:  A Failure to Communicate

  • ACW Chapter 3:        North and South Seek Compromise
  • ACW Chapter 4:        South Prepares to Secede
Unit two deals with how the United States attempted to come to a compromise on slavery in the newly acquired territories after the Mexican-American War.  Students will look at how politics drove a further divide between North and South. 

Unit 3:         A House Divided

  • ACW Chapter 4:        South Prepares to Secede
  • ACW Chapter 5:        Creation of the Confederacy
Unit three looks at how the southern states in America slowly seceded one by one after Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860.  The unit looks into the similarities and differences between the Confederate States of America and the United States of America.

Unit 4:       Two Countries Prepare For War

  • ACW Chapter 7:        1861: The War Begins
Unit four looks at how both the Union and Confederacy early attempts at organizing and recruiting and organizing an Army in preparation for battle.

The Civil War

Unit 4:  Early Hopes for the Confederacy (1861-1862)

  • ACW Chapter 7:        1861: The War Begins
  • ACW Chapter 8:        1862:  Near Victory for the Confederacy
Unit four looks at how the North and South prepared for the Civil War and covers the early battles of the Civil War.  The unit will end analyzing the impact of the Battle of Antietam on the rest of the war.

Unit 5:  A Changing Tide (1863-1864)

  • ACW Chapter 6:        Europe’s View of the War
  • ACW Chapter 9:        1863:  The Tide Turns
  • ACW Chapter 11:      1864:  The North Tightens Its Grip
Unit five will look at the how the Battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg impacted the South and the rest of the war.  The unit will also discuss the impact of the Emancipation Proclamation on the war.

Unit 6:  An End to the Conflict (1864-1865)

  • ACW Chapter 12:      Blacks in the Civil War
  • ACW Chapter 13:      1865:  Victory in the North
Unit six will look at Grant’s use of total war to bring the war to an end.  The unit will also look at the legacy of the war and some of the wounds that war has left with us today.


Unit 7:  Presidential and Congressional Reconstruction

  • RE Chapter 3:            Slavery’s End Brings Both Joy and Confusion
  • RE Chapter 4:            The President’s Plan for Reconstruction
  • RE Chapter 5:            The Radical Republicans Clash with the President
  • RE Chapter 6:            The Radical Republicans Move Forward with
Unit seven will compare and contrast Abraham Lincoln’s and Andrew Johnson’s plans Reconstruction.  The unit will also look at the process of the southern states coming back into the Union.

Unit 8:  The Legacy of the Reconstruction Era

  • RE Chapter 7:            The Reconstruction Governments
  • RE Chapter 8:            White Supremacist “Redeem” the South
  • RE Chapter 9:            The Mixed Legacy of the Reconstruction Era
Unit 8 looks at how groups like the Ku Klux Klan rose in prominence in the postwar south to circumvent the works of Republicans and African Americans in the Reconstruction process.  The unit also follows prominent African Americans Booker T. Washington and W.E.B DuBois and their efforts to lead African Americans after the war.

PDF version of Course Syllabus


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s